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McCoy's fantastic week gets even better

By Frank Brownlow

What a week it has been so far for AP McCoy. Following on from the BBC Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement award at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Sunday night, the Ulster legend picked up the 25th and final Lester of his illustrious career at a star-studded night at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham on Monday.

Then yesterday morning the 41-year-old - who retired in April after winning an incredible 20th successive champion jockey title - was out on the gallops putting two-time Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton through her paces in her bid to ride at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The schooling took place under the watchful eye of trainer Jonjo O'Neill at Jackdaws Castle.

He said: "Victoria rode Mission Complete and AP was on Join The Clan and she did very well as she jumped a line of fences four or five times and improved with each school.

"She has done very well to get this far as she had not sat on a horse until earlier this year and I'm sure AP's knowledge and insight into how to ride over jumps will be a great step forward for her as he looked a natural coach.

"With AP's help there is every chance she can progress."

McCoy won the Jump Jockey of the Year trophy and the ARC Jump Jockey Special Recognition prize on Monday night.

The Professional Jockeys Association commissioned Philip Blacker, the renowned sculptor and former jockey who designed the Lester, to sculpt a one-off solid silver Lester in McCoy's likeness.

It was presented in place of the traditional Lester.

Paul Struthers, PJA chief executive, said: "This year's Stobart Lesters was a particularly special occasion, marking the retirement of AP McCoy."

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