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McCoy and Murphy miss Hennessy in search of Fighting Fifth win

| 24.11.2010

Diamond Harry, the 6/1 ante-post third favourite for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury, will not have his regular jockey on board after Timmy Murphy decided to ride Starluck in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle.

Daryl Jacob will now ride Diamond Harry, a horse who has won five times around Newbury under the guidance of Timmy Murphy, and despite the capable hands of Jacob, losing Murphy is a blow for connections of the horse.

Murphy’s choice to take on Binocular aboard Starluck would suggest the connections of Starluck believe that a reversal of 2010’s Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival is possible – Starluck is 4/1 to win the Fighting Fifth.

Starluck finished fourth in the Champion Hurdle, 12 lengths behind winner Binocular, and Binocular is the 4/5 ante-post favourite to win the Fighting Fifth.

Last year Binocular also had a crack at the Fighting Fifth and was sent off as the 4/5 favourite that day.

But AP McCoy’s mount disappointed the favourite backers when failing to find any extra in the tank as Go Native swept past him last year, and despite a very impressive performance at the Cheltenham festival, there must be question marks surrounding his form at Newcastle.

This could be why the connections of Starluck have chosen this race to tackle the winner of the Champion Hurdle, but Peddlers Cross is unbeaten in his six starts and also has to be respected.

Donald McCain’s Peddlers Cross is a 3/1 chance for the Fighting Fifth and proved his quality when winning at the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree last year, but it remains to be seen if the horse is a two-miler after winning over two and a half last year.

Timmy Murphy gave up the ride on a potential Hennessy Gold Cup winner to ride Starluck and a £10 stake on Starluck would return £50. New customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.