McCoy in hot form at Aintree

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The Queen Mother Stand begins to fill up

The Queen Mother Stand begins to fill up ahead of the first race

Champion jockey AP McCoy moved to within touching distance of an historic tally of 4,000 winners, with an emphatic treble at Aintree on Old Roan Chase Day.

McCoy, who is now just 11 winners away from the landmark total after the weekend’s races, won the feature race of the day, the Betfred Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase, with a gritty performance aboard the Steve Gollings trained Conquisto.

Speaking after the race, the 18-time champion jockey explained that he was hopeful he would soon hit his target. He told JMU Journalism: “It’s still a bit away but I’ll keep going and hopefully I’ll get there in the very near future.”

Winning trainer Steve Gollings could not hide his delight at the result for a horse he holds close to his heart.

He told JMU Journalism: “He’s a personal favourite this horse because he’s not very big, so at a big track like this it’s more difficult for him and he’s got to try that little bit harder. AP said to me he didn’t know what this horse was made of, I told him probably the same stuff as he is!”

The performance was the highlight of an exciting seven-race card, which kicked off the new jumps racing season at the world famous racecourse.

Punters wear fancy dress at the races

Punters wear fancy dress at the races

In the popular Veteran’s chase, ten-year-old Jamsie Hall rolled back the years to score for Gordon Elliot, fighting off a late surge from the gallant Pigeon Island in second. Fifteen-year-old Monet’s Garden returned to parade before the feature, a race he won a record three times, before leading the runners out of the paddock.

Karinga Dancer put in an impressive performance in the opening race of the day to score over hurdles by eight lengths, with his trainer Harry Fry planning to send him over bigger obstacles for the remainder of the season.

He told JMU Journalism: “The plan was to go chasing after one hurdle win and we’ll very much stick to that. He’s every inch a chaser, so we look forward to getting him out.”

The meeting concluded on Sunday with a seven-race card, before the course hosts Grand National trial the Becher Chase on December 7.

About Nick Seddon, JMU Journalism