Belfast Telegraph

Now's the time for Tony McCoy to go for quality

By Frank Brownlow

Tony McCoy is targeting a return from injury next Wednesday - but the time has come for the prolific Ulsterman to go for quality over quantity from now on.

McCoy is still refusing to rule out his chances of becoming the first ever jockey to ride 300 winners in a season - despite already having missed a chunk of the campaign through rib and shoulder damage.

McCoy is fast approaching 41 years of age and injuries sustained in a fall at Worcester last month have almost certainly ended his hopes of hitting the magical 300 mark this season having sidelined him for most of November.

McCoy, who holds the current record of 289 winners in a season, racked up his fastest ever 150 this time around and hopes were high that 300 could be reached.

But for a man who openly admits he dreads the day he has to retire, the time has come to be a bit more choosey and, like other leading jockeys, ride the best horses.

Travelling the length and breadth of Britain to pick up rides at some of the sport's outposts are no way to prolong a career, especially in the hard game that is jump racing.

McCoy, despite his injury lay-off, is already so far ahead of his so-called rivals that he will be crowned champion jockey for an incredible 20th successive time come April.

McCoy - who rode his 4000th career winner this time last year and has 152 this season - can stay at the top into his mid 40s by easing back on his workload and saving himself for the bigger meetings and better horses.

For a man who has lit up this toughest of sports for the last two decades, that is the least he deserves.

Belfast Telegraph

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