Belfast Telegraph

Eating sweets, watching football and playing golf... retirement's bliss for AP McCoy

By Amanda Ferguson

Playing golf, watching football and eating sweets are keeping horse racing legend AP McCoy busy since he retired from the sport earlier this year.

The 20-time Champion Jockey spoke of his pleasure at being back in Belfast yesterday as guest of honour at the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce annual lunch at City Hall.

The keen sports fan took a moment to check out the Rugby World Cup trophy, which was on display in Belfast as part of a 100-day tour of the UK and Ireland.

After the buzz of dominating jump racing for 20 years, the proud Moneyglass man told the Belfast Telegraph he hopes to spend more time here now.

"It is nice to be home," he said.

"I never used to get home as much as I should have done when I was riding.

"I like coming back home.

"I am very proud of where I am from and hopefully now I am retired I will be home a lot more." The Berkshire-based 41-year-old - who made his final racecourse appearance at Sandown in April - said he was not missing being in the saddle just yet.

"I am OK," he said.

"I knewretirement was the right thing. I don't miss racing at the moment.

"(I'm) sure when Aintree and Cheltenham come around I will probably miss it a little bit more."

The former jockey is now getting to spend quality family time with wife Chanelle and their children Eve and Archie after his retirement two months ago.

Since then AP has been on holiday, attended the FA Cup final to see his team Arsenal win and he also spent the day at the Epsom Derby with his horse racing hero Lester Piggott.

Earlier this week, he met the UK's oldest punter at Royal Ascot, 99-year-old Dora Franklin.

"Well at least you won't have to waste any more money backing me now. It's a shame, as I'm much younger, but you look a lot better than me," McCoy told her.

His weight has also crept up from 10st 5lbs to 11st 3lbs, which he said is "not too bad".

"I am eating whatever is there," he said.

"I like food. I like chocolate. I eat a lot of sweets.

"I am lucky enough to do lots of things I couldn't before. I eat a lot, I play a lot of golf, I don't miss travelling at all."

On his vast array of achievements he is as humble as ever, explaining it was not until he rode his 4,000th winner that he allowed him to think to himself: "I've done OK".

"There will be people achieve more than me," he said.

"I am not any more special than anyone else."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph