The racegoer said: "I had to change my day off when I saw Darlan
and Rock On Ruby were running, I wasn't going to miss this."
"My Tent Or Yours looks set to follow in Darlan
's prints - and on today's evidence we want to keep him onside," said Coral's David Stevens.
Coral: 5 Darlan
, 10 Cash And Go, Dark Lover, Il De Re, Staying Article, 12 Cotton Mill, Dodging Bullets, Domination, It's A Gimme, 14 Kazlian, Lexi's Boy, Ranjaan, Raya Star, 16 bar.
A distraught McCoy gave up his remaining rides, while Darlan
's trainer Nicky Henderson was in tears "He didn't deserve that," he said "Why is it always the good ones?
"We had to break cover in the end as one cannot see this weather changing," said Henderson, who had pulled Darlan
out of intended comebacks at Cheltenham and Newcastle on account of rain-softened terrain.
According to official ratings, Darlan
has 12lb in hand of that rival and has to be the horse we put up.
"On Christmas Hurdle form we have a fair bit to find with the winner but, although I'm not taking anything away from Darlan
, Countrywide Flame is better than he showed that day.
Winner of six of his eight races to date, Darlan
's career has been on a hugely upward curve ever since he took a crashing fall in Newbury's Betfair Hurdle 12 months ago when still hard on the bridle at the second last.
2.50 DOMINATION is taken to make the most of the 15lb he receives from favourite Darlan
Coral: 5-2 Zarkandar, 9 Darlan
, 10 Final Approach, Olofi, Raya Star, 12 Soldatino, Third Intention, 14 Get Me Out Of Here, Sire De Grugy, Empire Levant, 20 bar.
Not only is last season's Champion Hurdle hero Rock On Ruby lining up but also the Triumph winner Countrywide Flame as well as Darlan
, who was runner-up in the Supreme.
THE worst result of the three-day fixture for the Dublin firm is Henderson's Supreme Novices' Hurdle runner-up Darlan
, who makes his comeback for JP McManus in Sunday's Racing Post Hurdle, previously run as the Greatwood Hurdle.