McCoy acknowledges tougher test for Binocular

Tagged under: 3.20 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1)

Tony McCoy recently admitted that his winner at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, Binocular, will find it a tougher test than last season in his bid to successfully defend his Stan James Champion Hurdle crown.

At the six-day stage all of the big names starred among the 13 left in the feature race of the opening day of the 2011 Cheltenham Festival. McCoy confessed that the presence of a trio of contenders close behind Binocular in the ante-post market means it looks a much more difficult race than when he ran out victorious at last year’s Festival, running out three and a half length winner ahead of Khyber Kim.

The Nicky Henderson-trained seven-year-old is now as short as 11-4 to repeat his remarkable victory of 2010 and McCoy said:

”It looks a better race than last year with the likes of Hurricane Fly, Peddlers Cross and Oscar Whisky in there.“

”I think it is a real good race so he needs to perform to the standard of last year if he is to win again.“

Binocular has failed to impress this season in two of his three starts this season, finishing third behind Peddlers Cross at Newbury before victory at Sandown in a harder performance than he would have liked. McCoy told At The Races:

”He is in good shape but I think he needs to perform better than this year so far if he is to win again.“

Binocular will renew his rivalry with last year’s runner up in the Stan James Champion Hurdle next week on the opening day on a very eagerly anticipated Cheltenham Festival.

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