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Pic of the week: AP McCoy to call time if he wins Grand National

By Maureen Coleman

A giant image of Northern Ireland jockey AP McCoy lights up Liverpool's Royal Liver Building ahead of today's Grand National meeting at Aintree. Alongside the huge projection on the landmark are the words "the greatest jockey" and "the greatest race".

The picture of the 19-time champion jockey, who is retiring from the sport, was projected on to the building this week to mark his last-ever appearance at the Grand National and his induction into Aintree's Hall of Fame, alongside late trainer Toby Balding, on Thursday.

McCoy (40) will ride Shutthefrontdoor in the main race this afternoon amid bookmaker fears that they will lose around £50m.

It's been predicted that punters will back his horse, trained by Jonjo O'Neill, making him the shortest-priced National favourite since Red Rum 40 years ago. Should McCoy win today, he will retire after a record 20th appearance in the race.

The Moneyglass man shocked the racing world earlier this year, having ridden his 200th winner of the campaign, when he announced that he would retire by the end of the season. His career has brought a total of more than 4,300 victories.

The former Sports Personality of the Year says he would love to carry on riding, but wants to go out at the top. If he does not win the National, McCoy will bow out a fortnight later at Sandown.

Speaking ahead of today's Grand National, McCoy said: "I am just trying to keep it as normal and concentrate on my job. I am not sure whether I want it to be the last time I ride or not - I have a little bit of mixed emotions. I want to win the Grand National but I don't really want to retire."

Belfast Telegraph


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