Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Tony McCoy set to smash Pipe's record tally

New milestone: Tony McCoy can break record tonight
New milestone: Tony McCoy can break record tonight

Tony McCoy can achieve one of his most cherished landmarks tonight – by beating the record 4,191 winners racked up by trainer Martin Pipe.

McCoy, as stable jockey, rode most of Pipe's winners in the period between 1997 and 2004, before the Ulsterman joined forces with top owner JP McManus, Pipe retiring in 2006.

McCoy, closing in on an incredible 20th successive champion jockey title, is now just three winners short of Pipe's huge tally.

The 40-year-old has six rides – Very Stylish, Shamal, Mulligan's Man, Degooch, Edmaaj and Mont Royale – at Worcester tonight so has every chance of hitting the new mark, his most significant milestone since riding his 4,000th winner last November.

"It's a huge number of winners and he (Pipe) is somebody I've always admired and been lucky enough to work with, so after the 4,000, this became the next target," said McCoy.

The Moneyglass jockey's other big goal this season is to ride 300 winners – McCoy holds the current record of 289.

He notched his fastest ever half century during this campaign to raise hopes that the magic 300 mark could be broken, with McCoy currently on 72 and uncatchable in the title race.

"To beat my fastest 100 (reached on September 4), I need to get to about 85 by the end of July because there's not so much racing in August," explained McCoy.

Ladbrokes go 4/1 that McCoy will ride 300 winners or more this season and have shortened his odds of achieving 5000 winners to 7/2 from 6/1.

Hayley O'Connor of Ladbrokes said: "We simply can't judge McCoy by mere mortal standards.

"His season so far has drowned out any whispers of retirement and has been a distinct reminder that the man is limitless."

Meanwhile, Leading owner Barry Connell is looking forward to seeing The Tullow Tank embark on a career over fences later this year following the dual Grade One-winning hurdler's switch from trainer Philip Fenton to Dessie Hughes.

The six-year-old won the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse and the Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown in the first half of last season and was last seen chasing home subsequent Cheltenham and Punchestown hero Vautour at Leopardstown in February.

Connell made the difficult decision to rule his star novice out of the Cheltenham Festival and subsequently the rest of the season after charges were brought against Fenton relating to treatments and medicines allegedly found at his yard in January 2012.

And with the case due to drag on until at least September, he has decided to move his prized asset to a new trainer.

Hughes trained Our Conor for Connell last year until the talented hurdler suffered a fatal injury in the Champion Hurdle.

Connell said: "The Tullow Tank is up in Dessie's place and is just back in work.

"He jumps well and the plan is go down the novice chasing route.

"Both The Tullow Tank and the bumper horse Volvalien have moved from Philip Fenton's to Dessie Hughes.

"Philip's case is going to go on for a while yet and we said we'd review the situation in a year's time.

"We obviously needed to get the horses sorted out for the new season."

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