45 Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle
Binocular warmed up for a bid to reclaim his Champion Hurdle crown when proving to be a super sub at Wincanton.
The 2010 Cheltenham title holder was only handed a place in the Bathwick Tyres Kingw uggs on sale ell Hurdle after his Nicky Henderson trained stablemate Grandouet was forced to miss the race.
But he showed he could yet be a big rival to last year’s Champion hero Hurricane Fly when easily disposing of Celestial Halo, who had taken the five runners along in his usual pace making manner.
Try as he might, he had no answer to the finishing kick of Binocular after Tony McCoy asked his mount to win the race at the second last.
J P McManus’ eight year old bounded clear to score by eight lengths from Celestial Halo with Starluck third.
Very happyMcCoy told Racing UK: “He’s been cantering away and jumping well. He was going to work at Newbury last night but when Grandouet got injured we decided to run him here.
“I wanted him to have a race here. He could have won on the bridle but I actually wanted him to have a blow as well and he qu uggs on sale ickened away nicely from the last.
“His jumping is always pretty good. I was very happy with him and he showed was in good form.
“Hurricane Fly is going to be very hard to beat at Cheltenham, but I was able to do what I wanted to do on him.
“I knew turning for home I’d be able to make a decis uggs on sale ion and give him a squeeze and make him have a blow. From that point of view I felt confident.”
The winner has been cut to 7 1 from 9 1 for the hurdling Blue Riband by Sky Bet.
Speaking from Ascot, Henderson s uggs on sale aid: “I haven’t spoken to AP (McCoy) or JP (McManus) yet, but you’d have to be pleased with that. I was certainly very pleased with what I saw.
“It was never the plan to give him another run, but when Grandouet couldn’t run I said to JP that it made more sense to have a run than go for a racecourse gallop.