In springtime you'll often hear the phrase "mad as a March Hare". For the rest of the year we may soon have to say "mad as McCoy". That was certainly the view of trainer Gary Moore at Fontwell yesterday.
McCoy had been riding State Benefit for Nikki Henderson in the Debbie McCurry Memorial Beginners Chase when he took a crashing fall at the third last fence. The horse jumped pretty well up until that point, but McCoy had just quickened the pace on the home turn and this seemed to catch the horse out. The jockey rolled under the rail to safety, but remained on the ground for several minutes.
McCoy said afterwards, "The horse landed on me. He was very brave early on and I wasn't sure I was going that well, so I thought I'd give him a squeeze rather than sitting against him and he just did nothing. He went from being very brave to not so brave and it's unfortunate that he got a heavy fall and he landed on my ankle. I was worried for a few seconds because my foot got caught underneath him. You know after about 30 seconds if it's sore enough to be broken and this wasn't, but an ankle has so many ligaments that sometimes they can swell and be just as bad. I'll be alright though."
He was driven back to the weighing room, in obvious pain, (level 6 on a score of 1 to 10, he said) but a few moments later limped out to take his next ride on board Lets Get Serious, again for Nikki Henderson. And McCoy certainly did get serious, bringing the 5/4 favourite home a comfortable 2 1/2 length winner on his first outing for over a year.
It was this that led Gary Moore to shake his head in astonishment and admiration at McCoy's determination. He said, "He's not hard, he's mad. That is dedication. I needed to do it. He doesn't."