Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: Let's hope AP McCoy gets his final wish

By Steven Beacom

Tony McCoy didn't blink. His answer was swift. No messing about. Straight to the point. It was January last year and I asked him the question if he were to win just one more race in his life, which one would it be?

Bear in mind the bloke had won over 4,000 at the time, so he had a monumental bank of memories to reflect on and consider which he would prefer to win again.

No thinking time was required. Quicker than a flash of his whip in a frantic final furlong finish, McCoy replied: "The Cheltenham Gold Cup."

You will know by now that the Cheltenham Festival takes place this week. It's that time in the racing season, along with the Grand National, when people who wouldn't know the front end of a horse from the back become interested in the sport of kings.

And this time the interest will be even greater than normal because this is AP McCoy's final Cheltenham.

One bookie estimates that £40 million will be bet on McCoy's mounts alone for the four days of racing, which start tomorrow.

McCoy, soon to be the 20-time champion jump jockey, has often been overshadowed at Cheltenham by his mate Ruby Walsh.

Indeed, you may be surprised to learn AP has won the Gold Cup only twice in his wonderful career. If ever a man deserves a hat-trick, surely it's him. On Friday 13th, here's to AP being granted his final wish.

Belfast Telegraph

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