Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: Tony McCoy is on track to break record

By Frank Brownlow

Tony McCoy is in the form of his life, racing relentlessly towards an incredible 20th successive jump jockey title in his bid to become the first to ride 300 winners in a season.

But it's about time some of his so-called rivals upped their game.

Although jump racing is much loved in this part of the world and it is great to see an Ulsterman dominate the sport, the real drama is being played out in the flat code.

Ryan Moore leads Kildare native Richard Hughes by just six winners in a thrilling battle for the title, both jockeys riding in today's St Leger at Doncaster, the final Classic of the season.

Although the jumps game is often cited for its drama, the flat jockeys championship is where the action has been played out in recent years.

Hughes has won the title for the last two years, Paul Hanagan was champion in the two campaigns previous to that, which followed a Moore double. In 2007 the title was shared between Hughes and Seb Sanders.

Close battles for the title have often climaxed in the combatants regularly boarding helicopters at the end of meetings to squeeze in evening fixtures to ride a few more winners as the end of the season in November approached.

McCoy's powerful grip on jump racing has largely removed such drama with the title wrapped up early on.

So as the Ulster legend heads towards his 41st birthday, it's time the race for the jumps title became exactly that – a race.

Belfast Telegraph

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