Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Northern Ireland jockey, Tony McCoy, sets new record with 3000th win

Tony McCoy
Tony McCoy

Legendary Northern Ireland jockey Tony McCoy has secured his 3,000th British and Irish National Hunt victory at Plumpton.

The 13-times champion reached the milestone aboard Nicky Henderson's Restless D'Artaix in the Tyser & Co Beginners' Chase. Given a typically assured ride from McCoy, the 13-8 favourite brought the house down at the East Sussex venue with a gritty defeat of The Package.



McCoy, from Moneyglass in Co Antrim, moved off the 2,998 mark earlier in the day on Hello Moscow, but crashed out at the last on Miss Sarenne when in control of the Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide 2009 Mares' Novices' Hurdle. All was forgiven 35 minutes later, however, when Henderson's seven-year-old showed great resolve to score by a length.



The normally-reserved McCoy could not conceal his delight at securing such an epic achievement and said: "It's not something I'm going to play down - I am ecstatic. All 3,000 winners have taken a lot of hard work. It's very easy to be driven when you are lucky enough to do a job you love.



"Obviously it dragged on a little bit but I could do nothing about the weather. Then I went and had the slight mishap on Miss Sarenne, but I'm delighted to get to 3,000 winners.



"I feel very privileged and I've been very lucky to ride for the people that I have during my career, I'm very lucky. I've had a lot of falls and a lot of injuries - and a lot of good luck and a lot of bad luck. But you have to love doing what you are doing to be that successful.



"I am lucky to have been supported by a number of great people over the years. It's great, I've been very lucky with my agent (Dave Roberts). He's helped me since I started and, without him, this wouldn't be possible."



Henderson added: "He starved himself to ride the filly that fell (Miss Sarenne) and he was genuinely gutted about that. He's ridden two finishes and I think he was the only person that would have won on either of them.



"The one that looked an easy winner goes and tips up. After that it was fair justice that we got it over with today.



"What sets him apart from the rest is advertised today. It couldn't be wetter, it couldn't be colder, he's starving to bits, but he can go and ride finishes like that. He's quite extraordinary and that's why he gets to those quite incredible numbers. You'll never see numbers like this again."



Racing world salutes legend McCoy



As Tony McCoy sets another incredible record in riding his 3,000th winner over jumps, his weighing-room colleagues, past and present, as well as other leading personalities from within the sport, pay tribute to a fantastic achievement.

Martin Pipe, former trainer: "He's a fabulous ambassador for the sport and is a terrific champion. He's a great rider in every way, very determined and very focused and he was a great help to me. We had eight years together and he rode over 1,200 winners for me. AP just goes on and on and he's the best there's ever been."



Paul Nicholls, trainer: "He has ridden over 100 winners for us and some good ones. It's always a job to make comparisons - he is always hungry for winners but the thing that has always struck me about him is how tough he is. He takes a fall and is always up again looking for the next winner. His will to win is incredible."



Richard Johnson, runner-up to McCoy nine times in the championship: "He's unbelievable, I don't think you'd find anyone to knock him. It's almost nice to ride at the same time as him as it gives us all something to aim at."



Ruby Walsh, jockey: "He's an incredible rider and he has an unbelievable attention to detail. He has this way of making horses run behind the bridle and he is a hard man to get past. He's a better man off the track than he is on it and I'm looking forward to him retiring to give the rest of us a better chance."



Jonjo O'Neill, trainer: "It's just fantastic. If someone had told me when I was riding that someone would get to that figure, I'd say they should be locked up! He is professional through and through. He is so good, he's a brilliant horseman, a brilliant jockey and a magic man."



Nicky Henderson, trainer: "He is so driven and dedicated. Mick Fitzgerald was driven but AP is seven days a week, 365 days a year. Mick and I used to plan things out but whenever AP looks at his rides, he always wants to know 'why wasn't I riding that?' The guy will ride anything. He's a joy to know and to have riding for you."



Jim Lewis, owner: "As far as Edredon Bleu was concerned, there was something magic when they got together. They were a brilliant combination. With Best Mate he rode him to finish second in the King George the year before they won it and he admitted he was on the best horse and he should have won - it takes a big man to do that."



Peter Scudamore, former champion jockey: "When I set my record I never thought it would be beaten, especially in such a manner. He's unbelievable and it makes me feel an idiot to be honest! It's a fantastic achievement and he's such a great advert for racing. He's an extraordinary man, he's such a gentleman and a fantastic jockey."



Colm Murphy, Champion Hurdle-winning trainer: "He's one in a million and has been really lucky for us with Brave Inca, and AP winning the Champion Hurdle on him was obviously one of the highlights. The two of them got on so well and they are quite alike as I don't know which one of them wanted it more."

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