Tony McCoy: champion jockey will partner Triolo D'Alene on FridayPICTURE: Getty Images
McCoy to ride plunge horse Triolo in Gold Cup
NICKY HENDERSON has booked Tony McCoy for the ride on Triolo D'Alene, his second string for Friday's Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.
McCoy had been engaged in the race for Grand National hope Teaforthree, but has been released from the ride by trainer Rebecca Curtis.
Henderson told the Racing Post: "I'm very grateful to Rebecca and the owners for letting AP off to ride Triolo. He's a progressive chaser whose work has been very good.
"We wanted to get in a run this week before the Grand National and rather than carry a big weight in a handicap we decided to go for the Gold Cup. He deserves to take his chance."
Triolo D'Alene has come in for strong support in recent days and is now as short as 10-1 and no bigger than 14-1, having been 25-1 this time last week.
Henderson's stable jockey Barry Geraghty rides defending champion and favourite Bobs Worth.
However, 14-1 shot Captain Chris is out of the Gold Cup with a suspensory problem, his trainer Philip Hobbs said on Monday.
Kim Bailey also reported his runner, 25-1 hope Harry Topper, was unlikely to line up given current ground conditions and a forecast for dry, warm spring weather this week.
"It's no secret I need soft ground again for my horse this year," Bailey said. "If there is no rain this week, then Harry Topper will stay at home - Cheltenham dreams start and end with the weather and that's no different this year.
"I've almost been doing a rain dance all winter hoping to have soft ground. He's capable of winning big races if he gets his ground, but he needs it to have 'soft' in the title to be going."