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Last Updated: February 5, 2011 7:31pm
Binocualr: Easy win under AP McCoy
Binocular made light work of three rivals in the listed totesport 0800 221 221 Contenders Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday.
The reigning champion was sent off at 1-10 and and strolled home over the line to repel stablemate Ruthenoise.
Binocular won by a length and three-quarters from the 50-1 runner-up with Siberian Tiger third of the four.
Binocular was eased by a couple of firms for Cheltenham next month, and McCoy said: "He was probably not as impressive today as at Kempton (Christmas Hurdle) but it's hard to judge in a race like this.
"I don't think he jumped as well as he can today, but with just three other horses you are being careful in case one falls or something like that.
"He was more impressive at Kempton, but you can't go on what he did here in a race like this.
"He seems in good form, he's progressing and hopefully we will get him there (Cheltenham) the same as last year."
Binocular is owned by JP McManus, whose racing manager Frank Berry said: "The run will bring him on and hopefully he will go to Cheltenham in good shape.
"He's not a great work horse at home and he loves jumping, so it was important to get him out and get this race into him.
"He got a little wound up before the race when we were saddling him, but AP knows him well and he is happy.
"AP said he jumped a little bit left going down the back but it looks like he is going there in good shape."
Sky Bet pushed Binocular out to 100-30 from 11-4 for the Champion Hurdle.
Matt Doyle of Sky Bet said: "We have been here before with Binocular who came back to his best at Cheltenham in the spring but we were a little underwhelmed by today's performance and have eased him out slightly in our Champion Hurdle betting."