No fairytale ending for AP

Tony McCoy failed to win on his final race at Cheltenham as his ride Ned Buntline came home fourth in the Grand Annual Chase.

The seven-year-old looked set to pounce as McCoy guided him around the outside of the field, only to be hampered by a faller at the second last, which all but ended his momentum.

In the end it was Next Sensation ridden by Tom Scudamore who took the honours ahead of Eastlake and Croco Bay, meaning the Irishman’s only win of this year’s Festival came aboard Uxizandre in Thursday’s Ryanair Chase.

With him due to retire after the Grand National on April 5, the 5:15 on Friday was the 40-year-old’s last Festival appearance and after the race he was deservedly given a standing ovation as he returned to the dressing room.

“It’s amazing, but I feel a bit guilty as Next Sensation won the race,” he said. “It’s a very emotional thing. It’s very special, and something I really appreciate. This is something I’m really going to miss.”

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