Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Jockey Tony 'AP' McCoy aims to be top novelist

Brought to book: AP McCoy is to write his first novel

He's been involved in countless thrillers on the racecourse.

Now champion jockey Tony ‘AP’ McCoy will channel his riding career into an equestrian novel.

Announcing details of his surprise career move, 38-year-old AP promised to deliver as many nailbiting moments in his debut thriller as he does in the saddle.

While the greatest jump jockey of all time has written three autobiographies, this is the first time he will pen a fiction novel.

To be published in hardback this November by Orion, McCoy plans to set his story in the familiar world of horse racing.

The Moneyglass man admitted writing a thriller will be a very different experience from working on his autobiographies.

“I’m up for the challenge and looking forward to getting started,” he said.

The legendary Co Antrim racer has won the jump jockey’s title a record 17 times and ridden 3,800 winners. He is the only jockey to have won BBC Sports Personality of the Year, in 2010 after wining the Grand National at Aintree.

McCoy achieved a lifelong ambition last year when he won the Cheltenham Gold Cup for the second time on Synchronised.

He will continue racing competitively while writing his novel. McCoy, of course, is not the first jockey to take up writing.

He is following in the footsteps of Dick Francis and John Francome, jockeys turned fiction writers.

Jon Wood, of Orion Books, said: “I’m so excited that AP McCoy has decided to turn his hand to fiction. With his unrivalled knowledge of the racing world and what it is like to be champion jockey, few are as well placed to create a brilliant new character in this genre. I’m sure that these novels will have massive success with Tony’s army of loyal fans.”

From saddle to storytelling

Tony McCoy is following in the footsteps of Dick Francis, author of 40 bestselling novels and John Francome. Francis, born in 1920, was the son of a jockey and became a trainer in 1938. He reached the heights of his riding career when he was named jockey to the Queen Mother. Francis went on to become racing correspondent at the Sunday Express before he began writing books. He then wrote a novel a year for 38 years.

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