Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Record-breaker Tony McCoy targets a quick century

Final hurdle: Ulster great Tony McCoy (right) rides It's A Gimme to a record-breaking victory at Market Rasen
Final hurdle: Ulster great Tony McCoy (right) rides It's A Gimme to a record-breaking victory at Market Rasen

Tony McCoy has turned his attentions towards racking up his century of winners for the season as quickly as possible following his latest record-breaking achievement.

The prolific Ulsterman broke trainer Martin Pipe's record for most career wins – 4,191 – when he rode It's A Gimme to victory at Market Rasen on Saturday, winning on board Parlour Games in the next race for good measure.

That took the 40-year-old to 77 winners for the season – 41 clear in his pursuit of a 20th successive champion jockey title – and raised hopes that the 300 in a season barrier could be broken for the first time. McCoy – who else – has the current highest mark of 289.

"The record was just a very personal thing between me and Mr Pipe," said McCoy, who has actually ridden over 1,550 of Pipe's winners, including Make A Stand in the Champion Hurdle at the 1997 Cheltenham Festival.

"He set the standard and revolutionised training.

"He is someone I hold in high esteem and we had great times together in my time as his stable jockey.

"We've had a bit of banter pretty much since I've ridden my 4,000th winner (last November).

"It's only a personal thing and I will be putting in a satisfying call (to Pipe).

"I have plans to see Mr and Mrs Pipe, to have a nice evening and to let him know I've got more winners than he has!" added McCoy, who drew a blank at Stratford yesterday.

McCoy was presented with a 20kg Lincolnshire Poacher cheese by the racecourse management in honour of his achievement.

He added: "As a jump jockey, you take it day by day. I always set myself goals – this was just my next target.

"I've had a good start to the season, now I want to ride my fastest-ever century and to be champion jockey again – if I'm lucky enough to do that it will be my 20th year. That's my main target at the moment.

"I'll just keep going, my ambition is to be champion jockey and that's all I think about."

Pipe was delighted for the Ulsterman.

"He's an inspiration to all the jockeys and to everyone in racing," he said. He's marvellous for our sport and it's just great we've got someone like him.

"Now, he's finally beaten me. All of us in racing are so proud of him for doing it."

Jonjo O'Neill, trainer of It's A Gimme, said: "He rode a fantastic race.

"I thought he was beat going down to the last, but it was a typical AP ride and he got there.

"It's great to be involved in this sport and AP is a great ambassador.

"It's A Gimme was just exhausted. It's a very hot day and he gave every last ounce in that race.

"We know what the problem is and he'll be OK.

"When I was riding you would never have dreamt someone could have done what AP has done.

"You'd have said thinking about 4,000 winners would be lunacy.

"I rode some 900 winners and then gave up. I got the money and got out! I know there is more racing now and everything is better, but you wouldn't think it possible.

"We won't see anything like him again – certainly no jump jockey," said O'Neill.

McCoy also has his sights set on an unprecedented 5,000 winners, which would require at least two more seasons after this one. Don't rule it out.

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