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AP McCoy comes out of retirement for one last race, and he wins

By Amanda Ferguson

He's still got it.

AP McCoy was back in the saddle yesterday to compete in a Doncaster St Leger 'Legends' flat race - and won it in style.

The 41-year-old, 20-time champion jockey from Moneyglass, Co Antrim, came out of retirement for a final race, riding for trainer Brendan Powell.

The unique one-mile charity race raises money for the Northern Racing College and Jack Berry House, the £3m Injured Jockeys' Fund rehabilitation centre which was opened earlier this year.

Less than five months after bowing out amid emotional scenes at Sandown, McCoy won on Gannicus in the Clipper Logistics Leger Legends Classified Stakes.

McCoy steered the 7/2 favourite home in front to rapturous applause. In a post-race interview McCoy said "that's definitely it now", but acknowledged if his former boss JP McManus comes calling he could have to step up to the saddle again.

On the win, he said: "It was never in doubt. Everything went to plan, although it always does when you win. He travelled and we know he stays well.

"I'm having a bit of a blow now but it's for a great cause."

McCoy also paid tribute to tireless charity fundraiser Berry.

"Fair play to Jack Berry," he said. "He's done all the hard work and the Injured Jockeys' Fund are benefiting, but Jack bullied me into it.

"That's definitely it now unless JP tells me I've got to ride for him!"

Over the summer McCoy told the Belfast Telegraph he was enjoying retirement by playing golf, spending time with his family, going to the football and eating sweets.

His weight had crept up from 10st 5lbs by nearly a stone but the extra pounds didn't impact his performance yesterday afternoon.

Ahead of the race he had been teased about his fitness, so in preparation went for runs and watched what he ate.

The hard work clearly paid off.

Belfast Telegraph


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