Biting Back: Quitting could be best victory for Tony McCoy
Tony McCoy has five rides at Ffos Las today. They are horses of varying quality, reflected in their prices, with just one that could be described as a hot favourite.
Every one of those five horses has roughly a one in 10 chance of falling, and every fall from a racehorse is potentially catastrophic.
McCoy is just eight short of 4,300 career wins — far more than any jockey in history.
In April, he will be crowned champion jockey for an incredible 20th successive time — a feat no-one will ever even get close to repeating.
In May, the Ulsterman will turn 41 years of age.
The next milestone he can reach is 5,000 winners — but that’s going to take three more seasons in this toughest of sports.
McCoy is known as the iron man, but even he is taking a little while longer to shrug off injuries than he used to.
The Moneyglass rider was in the hunt for an unprecedented 300 winners this season — he holds the current record of 289 — but a series of
injuries have put paid to that, although he has 173 already in the bag.
McCoy himself has often admitted that calling it a day and riding off into the sunset will be one of the most difficult things he ever does.
But when he becomes champion jockey for the 20th time at the end of this season, that could be the perfect moment to say goodbye, retiring with faculties intact and multiple opportunities in the racing world beckoning.
McCoy’s retirement will hurt racing — he is a fine ambassador for the sport.
But bowing out at the very top while fit and healthy would be McCoy’s greatest victory of all.