Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Tony McCoy edges toward new record

On The Record and Tony McCoy, left, on their way to a record-equalling success
On The Record and Tony McCoy, left, on their way to a record-equalling success

Tony McCoy equalled Martin Pipe's career tally of 4,191 winners – but the prolific Ulsterman must wait until Saturday to break his mentor's record.

McCoy equalled the mark with a typically powerful ride to get On The Record home first at Uttoxeter yesterday.

The 40-year-old, closing in on an incredible 20th successive jump jockey title, was off target with his other two rides at Uttoxeter before jumping into a waiting helicopter for the 60-mile dash to Worcester's evening fixture.

McCoy had four rides at Worcester but ended up empty handed.

"It looks like I'm going to Market Rasen on Saturday when (trainer) Jonjo (O'Neill) has a number of runners," said McCoy last night.

The record-breaking jump jockey drove evens favourite On The Record over the line first in the 32Red On The App Store Handicap Hurdle at Uttoxeter, but only after a tough tussle with Bangkok Pete.

The 25-1 outsider pushed On the Record all the way and the race could have gone either way from the final flight.

However, McCoy got the Jonjo O'Neill-trained six-year-old, owned by his boss JP McManus, home by a neck much to the delight of his supporters.

"I made hard work of it. I was a bit conscious we went steady. Down the back I thought I'd better get him a bit closer because he's not a quick horse," said McCoy.

"Then he just started to wander about and have a look and was probably going to win over the last but decided to stop and it was only when a horse came by him that I got him going again in time thankfully. It's nice that he won.

"I've had a few steering jobs and I was hoping one would win and this horse was appropriately named. It's nice that it's one of Jonjo's and one of JP's.

"The thing with me and Mr Pipe is that it's just a personal thing. We've a lot of friends and there's been a lot of banter for a long time.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he went to Newmarket for a trainer's course. I hope I've driven him mad!"

On The Record was McCoy's second ride of the afternoon at the Staffordshire track after Zip Wire had failed to trouble the judge in the 32Red Casino Novices' Hurdle won by Nathans Pride.

McCoy recorded his fastest-ever 50 last month at Worcester and the 19-times champion is pushing towards 300 winners this season having recorded 289 victories in 2001-2.

McCoy has been targeting Pipe's all-time tally since chalking up his 4,000th winner at Towcester in November.

The record-breaking rider was formerly Pipe's stable jockey but has been retained by owner J P McManus since 2004.

Pipe was champion trainer 15 times until he handed over the reins to his son David in April 2006.

The latter tweeted: "Could there be a more appropriate way for @AP_McCoy to join my father in the 4191 club than success aboard On The Record?!"

McCoy could not overtake Pipe with his last ride at Uttoxeter as his mount Dashing Over faded out of contention behind Bumble Bay (12-1) in the £10 Free Bet At 32RedSport.com Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

He then left the track by helicopter for Worcester's evening meeting where he had four chances to surpass his former boss.

Martin Pipe believes his words inspired McCoy to home in on his career tally of winners.

The retired Nicholshayne training great threw out a challenge to the best jumps jockey of all time when he retired in April 2006.

When Pipe handed over the reins to his son David after chalking up an overall total of 4,191 winners, McCoy was some 1,500 down on the 15-times champion jumps trainer.

It would have seemed by many to be a safe bet to bait McCoy by suggesting he would never get to a total that was not even on the horizon.

But Pipe, knowing only too well that breaking records comes as second nature to the never-say-die Ulsterman, had a feeling his former stable jockey would be hooked into aiming at a target that would have looked out of reach to everyone else.

"Years ago when I retired I said he wouldn't beat me, which I hope spurred him on. I'm sure it did," he said.

"We've had some great banter about it. He kept on texting me all the time and saying he was getting closer.

"It was marvellous this season that he managed his fastest-ever 50.

"He had a bad tumble at Worcester just recently yet came back in the next race and rode a winner despite being in all that pain. Then he was back at Market Rasen a few days later and had a winner.

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

"All of us in racing are so proud of him for doing it."

Paul Carberry claimed a stunning four-timer at Downpatrick on Monday but now his dreams of Galway Festival glory at the end of the month are in tatters.

Carberry broke his collarbone in an incident at Killarney on Tuesday night.

The admired jump jockey was riding Armaramak, who was brought down at the third-last fence in the MC Group Handicap Chase.

Carberry's agent Ciaran O'Toole said: "He has a broken collarbone, so you'd say Galway is looking unlikely but you never know, sometimes they heal up quickly."

There was better news of Robbie Power, who came off Corr Point in the same race.

"He'll be out for a week or so – he just had a bit of bruising on his sternum," explained O'Toole.

Mark Enright, riding Ross Na Righ in the same contest, took a fall and was taken to hospital with a lower back injury.

However, Turf Club Medical Officer Dr Adrian Mc Goldrick confirmed a CT scan was clear but the jockey remains in hospital awaiting an MRI scan.

Meanwhile, Andrew Lynch fractured three bones in his right hand in a fall.

Philip Enright has fractured his left wrist and will be out of action for about two months after undergoing an operation.

Maura McElligott, riding in the same handicap chase in which most of the spate of injuries took place, was operated on yesterday and is due to be discharged today.

David Spillane, who sustained a hairline fracture the previous day, will be fit to ride at Galway.

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