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Tony McCoy's Grand National plan to bring down curtain on career

By Frank Brownlow

Tony McCoy made his last appearance in Ireland at Fairyhouse - drawing a blank - and will now turn his attention to Saturday's Aintree Grand National, which could be his last ever race.

McCoy will retire at the end of the season on April 25 at Sandown - when he will be crowned champion jockey for the 20th successive time.

That's unless the 40-year-old wins the £1m Aintree showpiece on Saturday for the second time - in which case, he has said, he will retire on the spot.

McCoy rides favourite Shutthefrontdoor and there will be other local interest with trainer Neil Mulholland - originally from Glenavy - running the fancied The Druids Nephew, while Armagh jockey Brian Hughes rides Baileys Concerto.

McCoy signed off his career in Ireland with two unplaced rides at Fairyhouse. Rathpatrick was fifth in the INH Stallion Owners EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle Series Final, while Thomas Edison finished well-beaten in the Farmhouse Foods Handicap Hurdle.

McCoy, who received a huge ovation when shaking hands with racegoers, said: "It's sad that this is my last day riding in Ireland but hopefully I'll be allowed back to spectate. I think the lads in the weighing room are happy to see me go!

"I've known lads like Ruby Walsh, Paul Carberry and David Casey for a long time, and I'll miss coming to Ireland. I'm flattered by all the attention, and I've been just trying to keep my mind on the job.

"I'm hoping to be at Punchestown for a few days, and I was walking around JP's (McManus) place this morning looking at plenty of nice young horses that I won't be able to ride over the next few years.

"I'll miss places like this, that's for sure. There's times I've wished I hadn't been champion jockey, because I think I could have ridden a little bit longer and maybe a little bit more in Ireland, but I wouldn't be going to complain - the only complaint I've got is I'd love to do it all again."

He added: "I've no thoughts about training as my life has been very committed for the past 25 years and I want to have a bit of a life for the next 25."

Belfast Telegraph


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