It may be Ascot’s last meeting of the National Hunt season, but it will one to put in the album books with retiring champion jockey AP McCoy here for three rides. It is our last chance to see the record-breaking sportsman ride at Ascot so it is a day to savour.
McCoy has three chances today – in the first and third races he rides likely favourites Vintage Vinnie for trainer Rebecca Curtis and Un Ace for Kim Bailey, while his last ride ever at Ascot is in the 4.10 on Firm Order for trainer Paul Webber. Let’s hope he bows out on a winner.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are here today and have a runner in the first, Ravenous trained by Jamie Snowden. After the third race (3.40) McCoy will be presented with a tribute from Ascot Racecourse recognising his huge achievements in the sport of horseracing.
The presentation takes place after McCoy’s second ride so make sure you come along to the Parade Ring to get your photos, selfies and autographs.
There will be an interesting spot of family rivalry in the first – with The Queen and Prince Charles both saddling runners. Special Agent trained by Nicky Henderson. An improving sort, he should go close.
The talented Ascot specialist Puffin Billy, who has won twice over hurdles here, bids to put the record straight after falling on his chase debut at Ascot. He runs in the Troy Asset Management & Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (2.30). He takes on recent Cheltenham Festival runner-up Thomas Crapper.
Zarib for Dan and Harry Skelton should go close in the Coutts Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (3.05) with Zarib, while Chris Pea Green should give McCoy’s mount most to think about in the Waitrose Novices Handicap Chase (3.40).
Wayward Prince won well on his latest start and looked back to his best, he could double up in the Davidstow Veteran’s Handicap Chase (4.10).
Our last race, the Sir Ray Tindle Open Hunters’ Chase (5.15), sees leading amateurs Ciaran Gethings (Foundry Square) and Harry Banister (Calgary Bay) take each other on, but they may have to give second best to young jockey Mr James King. He rides No Loose Change for Paul Nicholls. King has ridden one winner so far – on this horse at Fontwell.
All in all it promises to be an exciting climax to the jumps season.