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Retired he is, but AP McCoy still prefers green turf to red carpet, says wife

By Caroline Crawford

Published 31/07/2015

Tony McCoy and his wife Chanelle at Galway Races yesterday
Tony McCoy and his wife Chanelle at Galway Races yesterday
Alex Butler from Midleton in Co Cork, who was the winner of the Kilkenny best dressed competition
Maria Tennyson from Cookstown

AP McCoy may have hung up the reins but he's still festival fit - swapping big wins at Ballybrit for Toronto.

A documentary on the legendary Northern Irish jockey will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, one of only 20 chosen from more than 6,000.

At the Galway Races, wife Chanelle said she was looking forward to attending the event next month, unlike the star himself.

"The first thing I said was 'this is cool' and the first thing AP said was 'do I have to go?'" she said.

Chanelle was enjoying the races with Gillian Walsh. But while Gillian was a ball of anxiety for husband Ruby's races, Chanelle was delighted those days were behind her.

She said: "It was just nice coming yesterday and not having a lump in your throat or that sick feeling wondering are we going to get through the week without a fall.

"It's lovely to see him enjoying himself and at ease about his decision about not riding."

But for Gillian, the nerves were very much to the fore.

"The hurdle race, I hate watching that. Ruby's record is pretty catastrophic in it injury-wise. But he's pretty happy with the horse he has today," she said.

Sean and Sharon Harvey were also enjoying the races with sons Eoin (4) and Ruairi (7). This year they hoped their luck would come in as Sean did an interview for a new job between races.

"We've been living in Perth for 16 years but we want to move home. I have to go out to the car park to do an interview over the phone. I've had a few winners so I hope my luck will continue," he said.

Celeb spotters were rubber necking the parade ring after Sandymount Duke, owned by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, took the fifth race. But the rocker had not made it over for the event. "He would love it here," said trainer Jessica Harrington.

Maura Derrane was on hand to judge the Kilkenny best dressed lady competition. She said: "I think a lot of women who come here are mums like me and are at home a lot, so they come here to enjoy their one day of glamour in the year."

Winner of the best dressed lady Alex Butler topped her ensemble with a hat by Leitrim milliner Jennifer Wrynne.

Meanwhile, model Roz Purcell was also keeping an eagle eye on the fashion stakes. She was judging best dressed lady in Hotel Meyrick on Wednesday night.

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