Shutthefrontdoor alongside Corrin Wood (centre) and Green Flag (left)PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Shutthefrontdoor takes narrow win at Carlisle
Report: Carlisle, Wednesday
Pertemps Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) 5yo+, 3m1f
TONY McCOY rousted Shutthefrontdoor to a narrow victory at Carlisle that raised doubts over the six-year-old's participation at the Cheltenham Festival.
Like on his last win at Wincanton, Shutthefrontdoor did not make life easy for his rider and required some vigorous encouragement after a poor leap at the last hurdle.
Ardkilly Witness, ridden by 7lb claimer Christopher Ward, led until the last 20 yards but Shutthefrontdoor's win may have been worth more than the bare margin of half a length.
The Jonjo O'Neill-trained winner would likely qualify for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham and William Hill and Paddy Power installed him as a 10-1 chance, however McCoy seemed unconvinced, saying: "He just kept on. I think he'd lack the experience for the big race."
Knockara Beau and Green Flag, the 3-1 joint-favourites, were fourth and fifth respectively.