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Tony McCoy wonders how he'll survive without racing

By Michelle Smyth

Champion jockey AP McCoy has spoken of his fears over how he will cope with the end of his adrenaline-filled, risk-taking career.

As the Moneyglass legend prepares for the emotion of the final race of his record-breaking career later this week, he spoke about how he will miss the thrill of his job and would "love to ride forever".

This Saturday, McCoy will be crowned Champion Jockey for the 20th time as he rides in his last race ever at Sandown Park in Surrey.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, the 40-year-old quoted Formula One driver James Hunt by saying: "The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel.

"I will miss the competitiveness of it and most of all I will miss the thrill, the buzz, the adrenaline rush, being on the edge. The risk gives you that rush," the Co Antrim sportsman said.

McCoy also admitted that he was unsure how he will cope without racing.

"I worry about it every day. Waking up and thinking 'what am I going to do today?' I'm going to take the summer off and see how I feel. Will I need something else to drive me mad? I could say the future will be fine, but there's no point. I won't know until it happens. I would love to ride forever."

Married to Chanelle, with two young children - Eve and Archie - the jockey said he knew retirement was the right thing.

"Chanelle is happy I'm retiring, my parents are even happier. It's only recently I've noticed the effect on them. My dad (Peadar) is 75, an avid racing fan who no longer enjoys watching me ride," he said.

McCoy's new-found free time will allow him more family time - the very thing he has attributed to making him "easier to live with over the past six or seven years".

"I was hard to live with. And she (Chanelle) had to live with that, but it has been more difficult for me to live with me. I have always loved kids, I feel very lucky that we've had Eve and Archie."

Chanelle told the BBC that her husband's retirement announcement has given her a huge "sense of relief" and that she hopes he will survive unscathed until after Sandown.

"Sandown will be a celebration with friends and family... celebrating his career.

"Fingers crossed he gets out in one piece and remains injury-free," she said.

Belfast Telegraph


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