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Crowds see off the legendary AP McCoy in some style

By Steven Beacom

This was it then. Tony McCoy's final day as a jockey at the Cheltenham Festival. They even named the last race after him to mark the occasion. Having won the Ryanair Chase on Thursday, all those who have admired his talent, determination and consistency over the past two decades were hoping for one last McCoy success at the iconic venue.

1.30pm: The opener was the JCB Triumph Hurdle and it turned into a riveting race with McCoy giving 8/1 shot Hargam a fantastic ride. It wasn't enough though as AP came in third with favourite Peace And Co the eventual victor.

2.05: McCoy was on board 7/1 favourite Princely Con in the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle, but finished a disappointing 13th as outsider Wicklow Brave enjoyed success.

3.20: Ahead of the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday the 13th of March, McCoy would have dreamt about a glorious triumph in the race he cherishes more than all the rest. On this occasion the dream did not come true with Carlingford Lough (14/1) struggling to cope with the ground and unable to live with the pace at the front, coming home ninth in a thrilling race won by novice Coneygree. AP will end his career then with TWO Gold Cup triumphs...Mr Mulligan in 1997 and Synchronised in 2012.

5.15: At 5.15pm, the legendary jockey lined up in the AP McCoy Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup. He was riding the favourite Ned Buntline. The fairytale ending should have seen him triumph, but it wasn't to be as Next Sensation won. McCoy's mount was fourth. That didn't stop him receiving an almighty reception from all the fans at Cheltenham. No wonder he looked emotional.

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