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Champion jockey AP McCoy's new life starts with a rare taste of sausages and bacon

By Steven Beacom

For 20 years Tony McCoy has been watching what he ate, going to all manner of lengths to keep his weight down, such as licking the flavour from a crisp before throwing it away, but not yesterday as he enjoyed his first official day of retirement.

On the menu was breakfast, a rarity over the past two decades of unrivalled success for the legendary jump jockey from Moneyglass.

And what did he have? Bacon and sausages. And boy did the 20-times champion enjoy them.

"I don't normally ever have a breakfast, but I had sausage and bacon today and it was nice," said the 40-year-old yesterday.

There was also family time with wife Chanelle and young children Eve and Archie, radio interviews and thoughts about what he is going to do next.

On the priority list will be to visit two friends and riders, who have suffered serious injuries competing in the sport McCoy loves.

McCoy, vice-patron of the Injured Jockeys Fund, will take the time to see Robbie McNamara, who is recovering in hospital from a spinal injury following his awful fall at Wexford just one day before the Grand National, and JT McNamara, paralysed by a fall at the Cheltenham Festival two years ago.

Further down the track he is planning to play in a number of pro-am golf tournaments, with the Irish Open at Royal County Down in Newcastle on the agenda. He is also intent on sampling big sporting events he has missed through the years due to the day job.

On May 30 for example he will see his beloved Arsenal against Aston Villa in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

"I've never been to an FA Cup final so I've picked a good year this year with Arsenal being in it," he says.

The Masters at Augusta in 2016 is also on the schedule. Maybe he will do what One Direction's Niall Horan did last month and be the caddie for Rory McIlroy at the traditional eve of tournament Par 3 event.

It'll all seem a world away from Saturday when McCoy rode for the last time in his glittering career.

He may have finished third in his final race, but that didn't stop the full house crowd of 18,500 giving the County Antrim native the warmest of receptions, reducing one of sport's toughest characters to tears.

"There was a lot of people at Sandown and the moment got to me a little bit," said McCoy.

"I don't know if it was the emotion of the whole day or the thought that I was going to be retiring and I was no longer a jockey. I wasn't sure what I was crying about to be honest."

McCoy, who collected his 20th jump jockey title at the weekend, stunned the racing world by announcing his retirement in a Channel 4 interview back in February at Newbury after he had won his 200th race of the season.

He said: "It was only really after the Grand National that it hit home that I was retiring. That was the last big race of the season. When I walked out of Aintree having not won the Grand National I just felt a bit dead. It was the first time I felt like I am a retiring jockey."

Asked what he will miss, McCoy said: "There are lot of things I'm going to miss. Like this morning I am getting up and getting breakfast and I feel like I have no purpose. For the last 20 odd years I have had a regime which was pretty strict. That was my way of life, that's what I wanted, I loved the obsession and now it has gone."

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