Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Racing

Brilliant AP has always been big box office success

By Jon Freeman

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

This is it. No ifs or buts or maybes this time - win or lose, Tony McCoy will be retiring after his two rides at Sandown's jumps season finale today, bowing out as champion jockey for the 20th year in a row and taking the silver trophy home for keeps.

First he will ride Mr Mole in the AP McCoy Celebration Chase, the race named in his honour, and then take his final curtain call in the handicap hurdle on the appropriately named Box Office, in front of a sell-out 18,000 crowd.

Mr Mole, with his history of anti-social behaviour, is not exactly the ideal partner to invite to such an important party. He used to be called quirky - racing's polite way of saying he is not to be trusted - and one wonders whether he will have the good manners and sense of occasion to behave himself on a day that really matters.

To be fair, this season he has looked a reformed character, three increasingly impressive wins elevating him into the best company, but even then he was reluctant to start in one race and he seemed to find it all too much of a bother when tailed off in the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month.

If there is to be one last hurrah in this race for an old warrior coming to the end of his career, but still capable of delivering the goods, it may be for Somersby (3.15 Sandown), a veteran McCoy has ridden in the past, but now partnered by his fellow Ulsterman Brian Hughes.

Somersby has never become the champion he promised to be, but invariably brings his 'A' game to the big occasions. He has won once and finished second three times on his four starts at Sandown and has also been runner-up in the last two Champion Chases.

If Sprinter Sacre were back to his best, he would eat both Somersby and even a well-behaved Mr Mole for breakfast and become a second wonderful story of the day, but based on the evidence of his poor Cheltenham showing, he is nothing like the horse he was and probably never will be again.

So if Mr Mole has the sulks, can Box Office complete the fairytale ending or is a bet on this young hurdler, also carrying the green and gold colours of McCoy's employer and friend JP McManus, merely sentimental?

In fact, Box Office (4.25 Sandown), twice a winner in France, has run with considerable promise on three starts for Jonjo O'Neill and should appreciate this step up in distance.

Box Office's race, the Bet365 Handicap Hurdle, was originally the final contest on the card but was brought forward to enable Channel 4 to broadcast live McCoy's last ever race.

After that McCoy gets to keep the champion jockey trophy to mark his 20 successive titles, while Arsenal legend Ian Wright will also make a special presentation to the Gunners fan.

Normally, the Bet365 Gold Cup would take centre stage.

It is still a cracking contest, even without McCoy riding in it, and a great chance for Newmarket trainer Lucy Wadham to win the most prestigious prize of her career with Le Reve (3.50 Sandown) and have 10 minutes in the limelight before McCoy mania resumes.

Sandown seems to bring the best out of Le Reve and Wadham has resisted the temptation to run her stable star at the spring festivals, waiting instead for the race that looks tailor-made for him.

The 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Ulster-bred Bobs Worth, much like his stablemate Sprinter Sacre, is an old champion in need of an old spark, while smart hunter chaser Paint The Clouds has a lot going for him.

Vics Canvas is an interesting outsider from Ireland. He didn't jump a fence in public until he was 11, but has made his presence felt in these competitive staying chases, bolting up in the Cork National before finishing a close third in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown.

These tricky Sandown fences will test him, but the booking of Ruby Walsh catches the eye and, after all, this is a day for old-timers.

Belfast Telegraph

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