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McCoy hits Pipe landmark

Tony McCoy equalled Martin Pipe's career tally of 4,191 winners with a typically powerful ride to get On The Record home first at Uttoxeter.

The evens favourite made hard work of lifting the 32Red On The App Store Handicap Hurdle.

Bangkok Pete pushed On the Record all the way and the race could have gone either way from the final flight. However, McCoy got the Jonjo O'Neill-trained six-year-old, owned by his boss JP McManus, home by a neck much to the delight of his supporters.

McCoy recorded his fastest-ever half-century of winners last month at Worcester and is now on the 75 mark for the campaign so it is full steam ahead in his quest to become the first man to ride 300 winners in a season.

The 19-times champion's best remains the 289 he rode in 2001-2.

McCoy told At The Races: "I made hard work of it. I was a bit conscious we went steady. Down the back I thought I'd better get him a bit closer because he's not a quick horse.

"Then he just started to wander about and have a look and was probably going to win over the last but decided to stop and it was only when a horse came by him that I got him going again in time thankfully. It's nice that he won.

"I've had a few steering jobs and I was hoping one would win and this horse was appropriately named. It's nice that it's one of Jonjo's and one of JP's.

"The thing with me and Mr Pipe is that it's just a personal thing. We've a lot of friends and there's been a lot of banter for a long time. I wouldn't be surprised if he went to Newmarket for a trainer's course. I hope I've driven him mad!"

On The Record was McCoy's second ride of the afternoon at the Staffordshire track after Zip Wire had failed to trouble the judge in the 32Red Casino Novices' Hurdle won by Nathans Pride.

He has been targeting Pipe's all-time tally since chalking up his 4,000 winner at Towcester in November. The record-breaking rider was formerly Pipe's stable jockey but has been retained by McManus since 2004. Pipe was champion trainer 15 times until he handed over the reins to his son David in April 2006.

Pipe believes his words inspired Tony McCoy to home in on his career tally of winners. The retired Nicholshayne training great threw out a challenge when he retired. At that time, McCoy was some 1,500 down and it would have seemed by many to be a safe bet to bait McCoy by suggesting he would never get to a total that was not even on the horizon.

But Pipe, knowing only too well that breaking records comes as second nature to the never-say-die Ulsterman, had a feeling his former stable jockey would be hooked into aiming at a target that would have looked out of reach to everyone else.

"Years ago when I retired I said he wouldn't beat me, which I hope spurred him on. I'm sure it did. We've had some great banter about it. He kept on texting me all the time and saying he was getting closer. It was marvellous this season that he had his fastest-ever 50," he told Press Association Sport.

"He had a bad tumble at Worcester just recently yet came back in the next race and rode a winner despite being in all that pain. Then he was back at Market Rasen a few days later and had a winner.

"He's an inspiration to all the jockeys and to everyone in racing. He's marvellous for our sport and it's just great we've got someone like him. All of us in racing are so proud of him for doing it."


From Belfast Telegraph