McCoy back in saddle at Fontwell

Morestead, centre, will be going for more glory at Fontwell
Morestead, centre, will be going for more glory at Fontwell
Minellatillmorning won the Happy Birthday Sarah Cotty Handicap Hurdle. Picture: Fontwell Park

Balding celebrates Glory at Fontwell

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Tony McCoy is set to make his return to action at Fontwell this afternoon.

The 19-time champion jockey has been sidelined with a rib injury since November 5.

But he has been booked by Dorset trainer Neil Mulholland to ride Southfield Royale in the Free Tips At Novices’ Hurdle (12.40pm).

And McCoy, who has made his best-ever start to a campaign with 152 winners already, has a fine chance of celebrating his comeback with glory in the first contest of the seven-race card.

Southfield Royale cruised to success in a Market Rasen bumper back in June and makes his hurdles debut at the West Sussex track.

His biggest threat could come from Charlie Longsdon’s Coologue, who was second to Minella Present – another Mulholland inmate – in a hot bumper at Uttoxeter last month.

The 105-rated Somchine tops the seven contenders for the Novices Handicap Chase at 1.10pm, while Chris Gordon’s Lightentertainment will battle for a third career win at Fontwell in the £10 Free Bet At Handicap Hurdle (1.40pm).

Just five hopefuls go to post in the Nigel Martin Memorial Handicap Chase at 2.10pm, before four fight for honours in the 32Red Casino Handicap Hurdle (2.45pm).

Osmosia and Morestead are set to lock horns in a field of five in the Making Bookies Tremble Conditional Jockeys’ Training Series Handicap Chase (3.20pm).

The Fontwell favourites have a total of seven career wins at the course.

The bumper is due off at 3.50pm and features three debutants, including Dexter Benjamin – who is trained in Findon by Nick Gifford.

The going is currently heavy. For more details visit or call 01243 543335.

Meanwhile, Fontwell winner Cole Harden is among the eight entries for Saturday’s Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.