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AP on edge ahead of debut

By Frank Brownlow

AP McCoy swaps the big fences for the small screen with his first engagement as a Channel pundit - and what a way to start, at Cheltenham's Open meeting featuring the Paddy Power Gold Cup.

McCoy retired in April - just before turning 41 - after clinching an incredible 20th successive champion jockey title and with a record tally of 4,348 winners that will never be bettered.

"I've never been to a big weekend meeting before that I haven't ridden at," said McCoy, who will next week attend premieres of the documentary about his final season, 'Being AP'.

"Cheltenham is one of those meetings that gets everybody back in jumping mode again after the Flat season. Hopefully I'll cope with it all right. But I'm jealous of them all, that's for sure.

"I'm frightened about it, more than I ever was (when I was riding), because I always felt confident on a horse, even when I was young, I felt confident on a horse.

"I don't feel comfortable talking on the TV, even when I'm talking about something that I like. I don't feel comfortable about it at all.

"I'm going to tell the truth, and hopefully it doesn't upset too many of them, but everyone makes mistakes and I've made more than the rest of them. Hopefully, I'll like it and be okay at it and enjoy it."

Ulster jockey Brian Hughes rides Oscar Rock in today's £150,000 Cheltenham feature.

Oscar Rock won his third race from five starts over fences in the Listed Prelude Chase at Market Rasen in September.

Trainer Malcolm Jefferson said: "We're very happy with the horse - he seems in very good order. It's a tough race.

"He jumped well at Market Rasen and I can't see why he wouldn't take to the place (Cheltenham).

"He's a tidy looking horse and hopefully he'll handle it."

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