A P McCoy will be riding second favourite Best Mate in the King George Chase on Boxing Day

A P McCoy has landed the plum ride on Best Mate in the Pertemps King George V1 Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

The six-times champion jockey steps in for Best Mate’s regular partner Jim Culloty, who was hoping to return to the saddle this weekend after breaking his arm in a fall last month.

Culloty telephoned Best Mate’strainer Henrietta Knight from Dubai to tell her he would not be fit. Ironically, it was McCoy on Wahiba Sands who beat Best Mate and Culloty last time at Ascot.

McCoy celebrated the big race news by reaching a career total of 1,500 winners at Exeter on Thursday.

Ms Knight revealed that she would rather run Best Mate in an intermediate chase at Wincanton on Boxing Day in preference to the King George, for which Best Mate is9-4 second favourite.

“The owner Jim Lewis wants to run him at Kempton and there are more pros than cons. I think Best Mate will run well,” she said.