Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Racing

AP McCoy: Co Antrim jockey Tony McCoy finishes third on Box Office in final race of his stunning three decade career

Twenty championship and more than 4,000 winners

Published 25/04/2015

Tony McCoy applauded at Sandown on Saturday for the last race of his career
Tony McCoy applauded at Sandown on Saturday for the last race of his career
Northern Irish jockey Tony McCoy holds up the jockey championship cup presented to him on his retirement at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher, Southern England, on April 25, 2015. Tony McCoy brings the curtain down on his record-breaking career on the aptly-named Box Office in front of a forecast full house at Sandown today. AFP PHOTO / SEAN DEMPSEYSEAN DEMPSEY/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Irish jockey Tony McCoy holds up the jockey championship cup presented to him on his retirement at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher, Southern England, on April 25, 2015. Tony McCoy brings the curtain down on his record-breaking career on the aptly-named Box Office in front of a forecast full house at Sandown today. AFP PHOTO / SEAN DEMPSEYSEAN DEMPSEY/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Irish jockey Tony McCoy holds up the jockey championship cup presented to him on his retirement at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher, Southern England, on April 25, 2015. Tony McCoy brings the curtain down on his record-breaking career on the aptly-named Box Office in front of a forecast full house at Sandown today. AFP PHOTO / SEAN DEMPSEYSEAN DEMPSEY/AFP/Getty Images
Tony McCoy parades the Champion Jockey Trophy during the bet365 Jump Finale at Sandown Racecourse, Surrey David Davies/PA Wire
ESHER, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Tony McCoy with the jockeys championship trophy he wins for the 20th consecutive time on the day he retires from the saddle at Sandown racecourse on April 25, 2015 in Esher, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
ESHER, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Tony McCoy with his valet Chris Maude on the day he retires from the saddle at Sandown racecourse on April 25, 2015 in Esher, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Tony McCoy receives a lifetime achievement award from Liam Brady (left) on behalf of Sandown Racecourse during the bet365 Jump Finale at Sandown Racecourse Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire
Tony McCoy with his wife Chanelle, daughter Eve and son Archie during the bet365 Jump Finale at Sandown Racecourse, Surrey.
Jockey Tony McCoy signs racecards during the bet365 Jump Finale at Sandown Racecourse, Surrey.
File photo dated 07-11-2013 of Tony McCoy celebrating claiming his 4000th winner on Mountain Tunes in the Weatherbys Novices' Hurdle at Towcester Racecourse, Northamptonshire.
File photo dated 24-04-2010 of John Francome (left) with Tony McCoy and daughter Eve after winning the People's Award during the bet365 Gold Cup Meeting at Sandown Racecourse, Surrey.
File photo dated 12-03-2015 of Tony McCoy (left) receives a kiss from wife Chanelle McCoy after winning the Ryanair Chase on Uxizandre, on St Patrick's Day during the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse.
File photo dated 26-04-2014 of Tony McCoy with the Champion Jockey's trophy.
File photo dated 10-03-2009 of Jockey Tony McCoy celebrating winning the William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase, on Wichita Lineman
ESHER, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Tony McCoy signs autographs on his retirement day at Sandown racecourse on April 25, 2015 in Esher, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
ESHER, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Liam Brady presents Tony McCoy with a special award at Sandown racecourse on April 25, 2015 in Esher, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
ESHER, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Tony McCoy poses on his retirement day at Sandown racecourse on April 25, 2015 in Esher, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
ESHER, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Tony McCoy poses on his retirement day at Sandown racecourse on April 25, 2015 in Esher, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Tony McCoy on Uxizandre celebrates with owner JP McManus (R) after victory in the Ryanair Steeplechase during day three of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 12, 2015 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
EXETER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Trainer, Paul Nicholls looks on with AP McCoy at Exeter Racecourse on December 18, 2014 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
TOWCESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Tony McCoy riding Mountain Tunes celebrates with his family after winning the Weatherbys Novices' Hurdle Race for his 4000th winner on November 7, 2013 in Towcester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
TOWCESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Tony McCoy riding Mountain Tunes is congratulated by fellow jockey Andrew Thornton after winning the Weatherbys Novices' Hurdle Race for his 4000th winner on November 7, 2013 in Towcester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
11 Mar 1997: Tony McCoy celebrates on Make a Stand after winning the Smurfit Champion Hurdle, at the Cheltenham Festival. \ Mandatory Credit: Phil Cole /Allsport
16 Mar 2001: Jockey Tony McCoy dons a red nose before ridding at Lingfield Park. Mandatory Credit: Julian Herbert/ALLSPORT
19 Feb 1997: Tony McCoy making a phone call between races at Folkestone race course. \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport
6 Mar 2002: Tony McCoy relaxes in the changing room after returning On Dee after riding Java Sea to victory at Bangor in Wales. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Julian Herbert/Getty Images
7 Mar 2002: Tony McCoy takes Carandrew down to the start of The Tommy wallis Hurdle Race run at Wincanton. The pair finished fifth in the race. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Julian Herbert/Getty Images
27 Oct 2000: Jockey Tony McCoy before the National Hunt Racing held in Towcester, England. \ Mandatory Credit: Peter Norton /Allsport
FLASHBACK: Champion Co Antrim jockey Tony McCoy has made history by securing 4,000 career wins. Pictured on Thursday on winner Mountain Tunes
Tony McCoy riding On The Record to equal the all-time number of career wins. Pic Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Tony McCoy is interviewed after winning The 32red On The App Store handicap Hurdle at Uttoxeter Racecourse
Tony McCoy signs autographs before The Agetur UK Handicap Hurdle Race at Towcester Racecourse, Northamptonshire
TOWCESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Tony McCoy riding Mountain Tunes is congratulated by fellow jockey Andrew Thornton after winning the Weatherbys Novices' Hurdle Race for his 4000th winner on November 7, 2013 in Towcester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
TOWCESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Tony McCoy riding Mountain Tunes celebrates after winning the Weatherbys Novices' Hurdle Race for his 4000th winner on November 7, 2013 in Towcester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/G2etty Images)
TOWCESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Tony McCoy riding Mountain Tunes is congratulated by fellow jockey Andrew Thornton after winning the Weatherbys Novices' Hurdle Race for his 4000th winner on November 7, 2013 in Towcester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
TOWCESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Tony McCoy riding Mountain Tunes is congratulated by fellow jockey Andrew Thornton after winning the Weatherbys Novices' Hurdle Race for his 4000th winner on November 7, 2013 in Towcester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
TOWCESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Tony McCoy riding Mountain Tunes (C) celebrates victory to give Tony McCoy his 4000th career win in The Weatherbys Novices' Hurdle Race with daughter Eve and son Archie Peter and wife Chanelle at Towcester racecourse on November 07, 2013 in Towcester, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
TOWCESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Tony McCoy riding Mountain Tunes (C) celebrates victory to give Tony McCoy his 4000th career win in The Weatherbys Novices' Hurdle Race with daughter Eve and son Archie Peter and wife Chanelle at Towcester racecourse on November 07, 2013 in Towcester, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Tony McCoy poses with his trophy marking his 4000th career victory at Towcester racecourse on November 07, 2013 in Towcester
Champion Co Antrim jockey Tony McCoy has made history by securing 4,000 career wins. Pictured on Thursday on winner Mountain Tunes
Champion Co Antrim jockey Tony McCoy has made history by securing 4,000 career wins
SUNBURY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Tony McCoy riding Foundation Man clear the last to win The Weatherbys Bank Foreign Exchange Handicap Steeple Chase at Kempton Park racecourse on November 04, 2013 in Sunbury, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
SUNBURY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Tony McCoy riding Foundation Man clear the last to win The Weatherbys Bank Foreign Exchange Handicap Steeple Chase at Kempton Park racecourse on November 04, 2013 in Sunbury, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Tony McCoy presented with the Galway Plate by President Michael D Higgins 31/7/2013...2013 Galway Festival, Ballybrit, Galway 31/7/2013 The www.thetote.com Galway Plate Carlingford Lough jockey Tony McCoy presented with the Galway Plate by President Michael D Higgins Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie...
Aintree Races...LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 05: Tony McCoy riding At Fishers Cross clear the last to win The John Smith's Sefton Novices Hurdle Race at Aintree racecourse on April 05, 2013 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)...S
Exeter Races...EXETER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Jockey Tony McCoy poses at Exeter racecourse on February 10, 2013 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)...S
Investitures at Buckingham Palace...LONDON - JUNE 28: Jockey Tony McCoy poses with his wife Chanelle and daughter Eve after he received his OBE which he received from Queen Elizabeth IIat Buckingham Palace June 28, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Horse Racing - United Racing Media Day - Oaksey House...Jockey Tony McCoy at Nicky Henderson's yard at Severn Barrow, during a United Racing Media Day at Oaksey House, Lambourn.
Horse Racing - Tony McCoy Reception - Stormont...Jockey Tony McCoy arrives with his wife Chanelle and daughter Eve for the reception in his honour at Stormont, County Antrim.
Press Eye - Belfast Northern - Ireland 1st November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle Tony McCoy with members of his family. after winning the 4th race. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Tony McCoy on Well Hello There, following the fifth race, The Smith and Williamson Handicap Steeple Chase, at Exeter Racecourse, Exeter.
Tony McCoy on Well Hello There, following the fifth race, The Smith and Williamson Handicap Steeple Chase, at Exeter Racecourse, Exeter.
AP McCoy rides Foundation Man to win the Weatherbys Bank Foreign Exchange Handicap Steeple Chase at Kempton Park Racecourse, Middlesex.
Tony McCoy riding Captain Cutter goes on to win the Weatherbys Bank Foreign Exchange 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle Race at Kempton Park Racecourse, Middlesex.
tONY McCoy rides Chalk it Down in the Weatherbys Bank Novices' Hurdle Race at Kempton Park Racecourse, Middlesex.
Tony McCoy rides Chalk it Down in the Weatherbys Bank Novices' Hurdle Race at Kempton Park Racecourse, Middlesex.
Jockey Tony McCoy makes his way in after the Bathwick Tyres Plymouth Novices´ Hurdle at Exeter Racecourse, Exeter.
El Macca ridden by Tony McCoy during the RABI Gateway Project Maiden Hurdle Race at Chepstow Racecourse, Monmouthshire.
Tony McCoy during the RABI Gateway Project Maiden Hurdle Race at Chepstow Racecourse, Monmouthshire.
Holywell ridden by Tony McCoy in the bookmakers.co.uk Beginners' Chase during the Cumberland Chase Day at Carlisle Racecourse, Carlisle.
Tony McCoy rides Chalk it Down in the Weatherbys Bank Novices' Hurdle Race at Kempton Park Racecourse, Middlesex.
El Macca ridden by Tony McCoy during the RABI Gateway Project Maiden Hurdle Race at Chepstow Racecourse, Monmouthshire.
Horse Racing - The bet365 Gold Cup Meeting - Day Two - Sandown Racecourse...Champion jockey Tony McCoy, with wife Chanelle and daughter Eve during the bet365 Gold Cup Meeting at Sandown Racecourse, Surrey.
Kempton Races...SUNBURY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Tony McCoy poses at Kempton racecourse on January 25, 2013 in Sunbury, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)...S
Press Eye - Belfast Northern - Ireland 1st November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Tony McCoy at the weigh in Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast Northern - Ireland 1st November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Tony McCoy Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast Northern - Ireland 1st November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle Winning jockey Tony McCoy, winning trainer Jessica Harrington and owner Frank Berry receives the winning trophies from Mrs Sloan from sponsors WKD. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast Northern - Ireland 1st November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Tony McCoy with his family Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast Northern - Ireland 1st November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle Tony McCoy with riding Jezki after winning the 4th race. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast Northern - Ireland 1st November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Tony McCoy Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast Northern - Ireland 1st November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Tony McCoy Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast Northern - Ireland 1st November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle Tony McCoy with riding Jezki wins the 4th race. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
John Smith's Grand National...LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: Don't Push It and Tony McCoy win the John Smith's Grand National Steeple Chase at Aintree racecourse on April 10, 2010 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images)...Spo
CHELTENHAM 16-3-2010. BINOCULAR and Tony (AP) McCoy after they won The Champion Hurdle for trainer Nicky Henderson. Photo HEALY RACING.
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19: (NO SALES/NO ARCHIVE) In this handout image provided by the BBC, Tony McCoy poses with the 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at the LG Arena on December 19, 2010 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Guy Levy/BBC via Getty Images)
RACING Camel/McCoy...Top jockey Tony McCoy riding a camel at Ascot today, Wednesday April 5, 2000. The race was a trial for the first camel race to take place at the Lambourn Open Day on Good Friday, 21st April. PA Photo....S
Warwick Races...WARWICK, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Jockey Tony McCoy returns to race riding after a fall in December that left him with broken ribs and a punctured lung at Warwick racecourse on January 26, 2012 in Warwick, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)...S
Horse Racing - Binocular Filer...File photo dated 16/03/2010 of Tony McCoy on Binocular celebrating victory in the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy during day one of the 2010 Cheltenham Festival.
Horse Racing - HEROS Charity Challow Hurdle Day - Newbury Racecourse...Jockey Tony McCoy during the HEROS Charity Challow Hurdle Day at Newbury Racecourse, Berkshire.
Sandown Races...ESHER, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Tony McCoy is crowned champion jockey for the eighteenth time at Sandown racecourse on April 27, 2013 in Esher, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)...S
Jockey AP McCoy and Synchronised pictured after winning the Betfred Cheltenham gold cup yesterday. Pic:Mark Condren 16.3.2012
Stratford Races...STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Tony McCoy in action at Stratford-Upon-Avon racecourse on October 31, 2013 in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)...S
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 1st November 2013 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 2 (1:35) Allianz Handicap Hurdle A P McCoy (GreenYellow White cap) on Dear Boss
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 1st November 2013 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle. Winner A P McCoy
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 1st November 2013 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 2 (1:35) Allianz Handicap Hurdle A P McCoy (GreenYellow White cap) on Dear Boss
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 1st November 2013 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle. A P McCoy on Jezki ahead of Ruby Walsh on Caid Du Berlais
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 1st November 2013 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle. A P McCoy on Jezki leads from the start
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 1st November 2013 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle. Winner A P McCoy on Jezki
CHEPSTOW, WALES - NOVEMBER 06: A muddied Tony McCoy after racing at Chepstow racecourse on November 06, 2013 in Chepstow, Wales. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
CHEPSTOW, WALES - NOVEMBER 06: A muddied Tony McCoy (R) looks on after a race at Chepstow racecourse on November 06, 2013 in Chepstow, Wales. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
CHEPSTOW, WALES - NOVEMBER 06: A muddied Tony McCoy looks on at Chepstow racecourse on November 06, 2013 in Chepstow, Wales. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
EXETER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Jonjo O'Neill with Tony McCoy at Exeter racecourse on November 05, 2013 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
SUNBURY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Tony McCoy riding Captain Cutter clear the last to win The Weatherbys Bank Foreign Exchange 'National Hunt' Novices Hurdle Race at Kempton Park racecourse on November 04, 2013 in Sunbury, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
SUNBURY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Tony McCoy poses at Kempton Park racecourse on November 04, 2013 in Sunbury, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
CARLISLE, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: Tony McCoy makes his way into the parade ring at Carlisle racecourse on November 03, 2013 in Carlisle, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
CARLISLE, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: Tony McCoy poses at Carlisle racecourse on November 03, 2013 in Carlisle, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011...MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 22: AP McCoy and wife Chanelle McCoy (R) attend the awards ceremony for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011 at Media City UK on December 22, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Nathan Cox/Getty Images)...S
Horse Racing - 2013 Easter Festival - Powers Gold Cup Day - Fairyhouse Racecourse...Call Rog ridden by Tony McCoy wins The I.N.H. Stallion Owners European Breeders Fund Novice Handicap Hurdle Series Final during the Easter Festival Powers Gold Cup day at Fairyhouse Racecourse, Ratoath, Ireland.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Sunday 20th November 2011 Jockey Tony McCoy (A P McCoy) pictured in Belfast. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Tony McCoy makes his way to the parade ring at Stratford-Upon-Avon racecourse on October 31, 2013 in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Tony McCoy on board Holywell at Carlisle yesterday, the prolific Ulsterman on target with a double to move to within four winners of the 4,000 milestone
Tony McCoy pictured at Down Royal
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1. Tony McCoy
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1. Tony McCoy
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1. Tony McCoy with Down Royal Manager Mike Todd
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle Winning jockey Tony McCoy, winning trainer Jessica Harrington and owner Frank Berry receives the winning trophies from Mrs Sloan from sponsors WKD. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle Tony McCoy with members of his family. after winning the 4th race. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Tony McCoy with his family Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle Tony McCoy with riding Jezki wins the 4th race.
Tony McCoy is set to race at Down Royal this afternoon
Tony McCoy triumphs in the Weatherbys Handicap Steeple Chase on Eastlake yesterday, the first of an Aintree double, as the Ulsterman's march towards 4,000 winners gathers pace
At Fishers Cross with jockey Tony McCoy after winning The Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle Race during the Cheltenham Gold Cup Day on Day Four of the 2013 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire
At Fishers Cross with jockey Tony McCoy after winning The Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle Race during the Cheltenham Gold Cup Day on Day Four of the 2013 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire.
Heronry ridden by Tony McCoy wins the Docker Hughes Memorial Novices' Hurdle Race during the Cheltenham Festival Preview Raceday at Fontwell Park Racecourse, West Sussex.
Colbert Station left it late to strike for home in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle
AP McCoy won on Mischievous Milly at Taunton
Alderwood responds to Tony McCoy's driving

Tony McCoy has finished third in his last ever race as a jump jockey, finishing off stunning career spanning three decades.

Moneyglass man AP McCoy (40) was also honoured with a trophy tribute at Sandown on Saturday, after riding Box Office in his last ever jump race.

There was a huge response from the crowd as McCoy took to the course for the last time.

A tearful McCoy said: "It's amazing. I've been so lucky all my life. I'll never forget this day."

And the current champion jump jockey's trophy is to be retired and given permanently to the 20-time winner.

Twenty championships, more than 4,000 winners... the jockey known simply as ‘AP’ ended his unrivalled career today.

Having recorded his first winner back in 1992 at the age of 17, the 40-year-old will make his last trip down the course at Sandown. He has notched up nearly 4,350 winners, over 1,000 falls and achieved 20 straight jockey titles.

McCoy has been Champion Jockey every year he has been professional; 19 consecutive titles, having smashed the previous record of seven in a row.

On Saturday he was given a trophy tribute, commissioned by the then British Horseracing Board back in 2007 and as the retiring McCoy is the only rider to have lifted it, having dominated the title since 1996, it was announced on Friday he would be awarded the trophy permanently.

McCoy was given a guard of honour from the rest of the weighing room as he signed autographs on the way to receiving the accolade.

Given a rousing ovation, McCoy, who is famously an Arsenal fan, was handed the trophy alongside his family for a final time by former Gunners star Ian Wright.

McCoy said: "If I was to thank everyone, I would be here forever.

"I have been so spoilt throughout my life and I've worked with some fantastic people and been lucky to ride so many winners for so many different trainers.

" I said to the lads in the weighing room, enjoy it as it goes quick.

"I'm really honoured and flattered by all of this but retiring now is the right thing to do.

"I would like to thank the BHA for letting me keep this trophy as I've had it for a long time."

Wright said: "AP McCoy is made of something else altogether.

"For 20 years he has been at the top of his game, riding winners, week in week out.

"I can think of no other sportsman or woman who can match his record.

"Like the Arsenal team of 2003/04 he's proven that he truly is an invincible.

"It was an incredible honour to award him with his trophy for the final time on the day he retires."

The crowds cheered McCoy from the moment he entered the paddock to mount the 5-2 favourite, applauding him the past the stands on the way to the start of the two-and-a-half-mile heat.

Another shout of approval heralded the start, with McCoy settling Box Office towards the rear in the early stages before he started to manoeuvre across the track as the race began in earnest.

However, despite travelling well three flights from home, the Jonjo O'Neill-trained runner found little under pressure and had to settle for a place behind Brother Tedd (9-1).

McCoy had to settle for third aboard Mr Mole - his first race of the day at Sandown - in the bet365 AP McCoy Celebration Chase.

He raced prominently on the Paul Nicholls-trained runner but the writing was on the wall as he began to push along at the third-last fence as eventual winner Special Tiara kicked for home.

Jon Freeman talks to those who know this phenomenal Ulsterman

The Wife, Chanelle McCoy

Married McCoy in 2006. The couple have two children, Eve (seven) and Archie (20 months). Director of medical business, Chanelle Medical.

I’m definitely glad he’s retiring. It will be a huge sense of relief.

There’s obviously a lot we will miss, a lot of great times, but when you strip everything back, it’s a very dangerous job. I won’t have to worry about injuries any more.

Blase might be too strong a word, but in the early days I wouldn’t spend my time worrying about the injuries, that was just part of his job, but it was different when the children came along.

The longer his career went on, the more worried I would get. He works every day with an ambulance following behind him and when he got another injury I was always worried what I was going to find.

A bad fall he had a year last May, when I was pregnant with Archie, really hit home. He had a punctured lung, then the lung collapsed, he had air pockets around his heart and he ended up in intensive care because he was at risk of a heart attack.

He was lying there in Gloucester hospital, half-conscious, surrounded by doctors and rigged up to machines. I always think if you break something, even your back, it’s fixable, but when it comes to organs and internal injuries that’s something else and really worrying.

He has about 900 rides a season, maybe 280 winners, but 50 to 60 falls, some worse than others. Sometimes he wouldn’t say, he’d hide it from the racecourse doctors.

I’ve seen him come home with a broken ankle, strap it up himself and carry on riding. He has an incredible pain threshold.

Of course, he’s going to really miss it all, the day-to-day routine, the valets and the jockeys in the weighing room, everything. Anthony has been like an addict for 20 years and there’s going to be that period of withdrawal.

But he won’t wallow too much, it’s not his style, he’s very positive. And he has so many great friends and golfing pals, quite a few of them retired jockeys as well. He’s very down to earth and doesn’t complain, an absolute gentleman at home.

Sometimes he has been very embarrassed about all the attention. He sees himself as just normal, not a superstar. For me, he’s a better person than he is a jockey, which will tell you how highly I think of him as a person.

I suppose what I will miss most of all is the buzz it gave him. The big beam on his face when he came back home after riding a double or treble or four-timer. That satisfaction of a job well done.

It’s definitely a case of looking forward to the future rather than worrying about it. It’s funny, all four of us were sitting round the table having dinner together the other day and Eve said: “This is weird.”

Little things like that will be so nice, things other families take for granted. And we’re actually going to have a holiday as a family lasting more than three days for the first time. We’re going to Barbados for a week.

My favourite moment was his 4,000th winner because we had the children with us and knew it was going to happen, unlike his Grand National win.

We could enjoy the whole build-up, it was a great kick for two weeks. And we’re going to have another great day at Sandown tomorrow. It will be a celebration, absolutely.

The Trainer, Jonjo O'Neill

Twice champion jockey himself, now a leading trainer, based in the Cotswolds at Jackdaws Castle, owned by JP McManus, who has retained McCoy since 2004.

It’s easy to remember his great rides for us in the high-profile races, like when he won the Gold Cup on Synchronised and, obviously, the Grand National on Don’t Push It. He gave them fantastic spins, didn’t he?

And there was also that incredible ride he gave Wichita Lineman at Cheltenham. But there were lots and lots of other times he pulled a race out of the bag on lesser-known horses at the little tracks that went under the radar.

We would get a great kick out of them as well, because these horses might not have won a race otherwise.

We all decided that AP was the man for us when he became available. I thought he had a bit of potential! (McCoy had already won nine of his 20 titles).

He was the one man out there we said we didn’t want riding against us. He’s not just a fantastic rider, he’s the complete article: he loves to school the horses and then he knows them for life; he knows how to ride all the tracks; and he does his homework so knows how the opposition are going to be ridden. He’s outstanding.

Synchronised winning the Gold Cup is a great memory. I said to AP that if he was still in touch with them going out into the country for the second time that he would win because he would come home strongly and that’s how it worked out.

He couldn’t make his mind up between Don’t Push It or Can’t Buy Time in the Grand National, but I persuaded him to ride Don’t Push It because he had a touch of class about him and I knew that we had him right on the day.

Of course, we’re going to miss him. How can you replace somebody like AP? But we’ll have to find somebody, won’t we? It’s going to be very interesting now with something like 250 winners a season up for grabs, spread around amongst the rest of them.

The Commentator, Simon Holt

Channel 4 Racing’s main commentator since 2000.

We have all marvelled at the high-profile races McCoy snatched out of the fire, like Hennessy in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in 2009, which I thought was a miracle — the horse was never going.

But I have also been lucky to see him do the same sort of thing on countless occasions around the gaff tracks when his sheer force of will has been communicated through the reins to the horse.

His trademark has been the salvager of lost causes. No jockey has won so many times on horses that didn’t deserve to win.

His style hasn’t suited every horse, but he has always been tremendous at finding that little bit extra. A jockey would tell you more, but just things like being in exactly the right place at the right time, or changing the reins, have so often made the difference.

And another thing I think he can be immensely proud of is that, despite being so strong in a finish — perhaps Richard Johnson is the only rider as strong — he has such an exemplary record when it comes to his use of the whip.

I remember when he was much younger he had to go back for extra training on whip use, but it must be years since he was last in trouble on that score. That’s a wonderful example for any aspiring jockey coming through.

We’re all going to miss him; not just for his riding but for the sort of man he is. I was commentating at Worcester last October when he had that bad fall in the last race (he was still on the ground 15 minutes later) and I remember having a bad feeling in my stomach when I left the course that this might be the beginning of the end of an era.

He was out for quite a bit longer than expected and maybe that was something that had an effect on his decision to retire, but anyway, the next day they were unveiling a statue of him at Newton Abbot and he was there! Obviously, he wasn’t riding and I understand he was in a lot of pain, but he said he would go and he did.

The Mate, TJ Comerford

Travelling lad  with Aidan O’Brien.

We go way back to when we were both riding out at (Irish trainer) Jim Bolger’s as teenagers.

I’ve always called him Anthony, maybe not in company when everybody else is calling him AP because they wouldn’t know who I was talking about. Can you believe it, I used to loan him money back in those days. He always gave it me back, but I wish he hadn’t now. Think of the interest!

I had great aspirations to be a jockey. I thought, “If Anthony can do it, how hard can it be?” But it went pear-shaped. I broke my neck in a point-to-point at Malton when I was over in England working for Mary Reveley.

I had another go after that and maybe had about 20 rides in all, but no winners. I was no good at it, so I decided to go back to Ireland and got a job at Ballydoyle (O’Brien’s stables). But we have stayed firm friends ever since.

He’s an absolute gent. I’ll tell you something that happened recently. I was asked by one of the lads at Ballydoyle if I would try and get Anthony to come over and present the stable staff awards the Tuesday after the Grand National.

It was very short notice, I knew how busy he was and I didn’t want to annoy him, but I asked him and he just said, “Yes, I’ll do it, I’ll cancel my rides”.

Then Chanelle had said maybe it would be nice to call in at the apprentice school as well.

The lads there thought I was having them on when I told them he was coming, but he turned up and was fantastic, had pictures taken with everyone and everything like that.

They couldn’t believe it. Job done, he flew back the next day to ride at Cheltenham. He just said it was a good cause and that was it.

My best memory of him riding was back in 1998. My favourite horse in all the time I have been at Ballydoyle is Istabraq, but my favourite Anthony moment is when he beat him on Pridwell in the Aintree Hurdle.

Istabraq had just won the first of his three Champion Hurdles, but Anthony got Pridwell back up on the line to win by a head.

It was an amazing ride.

The thing about Anthony is you will never meet a better or more accommodating fella and he’s always been like that. I know everyone says nice things like that at times like this and people will be thinking, “Yeah yeah, I’ll bet he’s a b******** really”. But I really, really mean it. The man is pure class.

The Jockey, Tom Scudamore

Son of eight times champion jump jockey Peter Scudamore. Stable jockey to David Pipe since 2007, he is neck and neck with Richard Johnson in this season’s riders’ championship which ends at Sandown today — with both of them more than 80 winners behind McCoy.

The man we know as AP was still stable jockey for Martin Pipe when I first went there as an 18-year-old after school.

I think I had met him twice before, but it was fantastic to be able to work with somebody who was a bit of a legend even then.

I learnt things from him, but it’s difficult to say he taught me this or that because, of course, it’s all very competitive and nobody wants to give their secrets away.

But I picked up bits simply by watching him closely. There was the intensity and the dedication, but also the way he conducted himself in and out of the saddle.

The AP ride that left the biggest impression on me was on a horse called Arlas at Worcester (in 2001).

I had just turned pro at the time and thought, “OK, it’s time to take on the big boys”. Arlas was just never going, but bit by bit, AP got him travelling and jumping.

It was just lots of tiny things, really, but from having no chance whatsoever, suddenly there was only one winner. It was an expert at work and I remember realising at that moment just how far I had to go.

Yes, he will leave a big gap when he’s gone, but so did Terry Biddlecombe, so did Richard Dunwoody, so did Peter Scudamore, when they retired. Life goes on.  I think that rather than getting down about that, we should instead be grateful that we had him for so long and for how much he has done for the sport.

My dad won eight jockeys’ titles, but at school nobody had a clue who he was. Everyone knows AP McCoy.

The Boss, JP McManus

One of the leading owners and has been McCoy’s main employer since the champion jockey moved on from trainer Martin Pipe’s yard in 2004. 

The duo have had great success, with McCoy wearing McManus’s emerald green and gold silks when winning the Grand National at the 15th attempt on Don’t Push It in 2010.

McManus feels McCoy’s winning ride on Synchronised in the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup “was something outstanding”.

“There’s never a right time to go,” said McManus.

“But it’s nice he’s picking the moment — on his own terms.

“I’ve grown to love him more and more. There’s something deep and great about him.”

When asked how he would replaced, he said: “We’ve had him cloned!”

Reflecting on when he first heard of McCoy, McManus said: “(Trainer) Christy Roche said to me ‘Have you seen this young fella McCoy riding?’ He should be handicapped not the horses!

“Our coming together did not come easy. He was very, very loyal to the Pipes.

“We never had a contract. Never had anything written down.

“I have utmost respect for him. It was not only a pleasure to have him ride winners for me but it also gives me great pleasure to see him ride winners for other people,” added the Limerick man.

McCoy rides Mr Mole and Box Office for McManus at Sandown today.

Online Editors

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph