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Replacing the feeling of winning is a hurdle I'll never clear: McCoy

By Steven Beacom

The legendary Tony McCoy has admitted that he will never be able to recreate the thrill of riding winners having retired from his sport.

McCoy was speaking on the back of picking up a Lifetime Achievement award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show in Belfast on Sunday night.

The 41-year-old from Moneyglass quit horse racing in April after riding a staggering and record-breaking 4,358 winners, claiming 20 successive jump jockey titles in the process.

He revealed that there are many things he does not miss about racing, such as minding his weight - he has put on two stone since retirement - but said he has given up trying to replace that winning feeling.

"The only thing I really miss is winning. That's the only thing that I really, really miss," said McCoy, who was touched by the reception he received when collecting his award at the SSE Arena.

"I miss the lads I worked with, my colleagues and the valets who looked after me because I saw them every day for 20 years, but the only thing I really miss is winning.

"I can't replace the buzz of winning. I don't think there's any point looking to be honest. I would like to think I will be successful at whatever I do next, but it's probably unlikely it will give me the same thrill that riding horses did.

"As a sports person I know a lot of people do try and find something, but how is it possible?"

And on the things he doesn't miss?

He said: "I don't miss not eating. I don't miss thinking 'should I be eating this? How heavy am I going to be after eating it?'

"I don't miss being in hospital. I don't miss being in ambulances. I don't miss spending every day of my life on the motorway. It was basically seven days a week, because if I wasn't in England, it was in Ireland. I don't miss the travelling.

"I miss riding horses, but I'm lucky enough I can still do that, but obviously not in a competitive way."

McCoy stated that he is coping with retirement 'fine', though added that collecting the Lifetime Achievement award brought with it different emotions to when he won the SPOTY prize, voted for by the public, in 2010.

"The one thing you know about the lifetime achievement award, you ain't getting any more. I was very honoured to get it, but was it an award I was looking forward to ever getting? Probably not, no. But it was nice to get it in Belfast," said the Antrim man.

"At least when I won in 2010 there was still a bit to look forward to, whereas winning the lifetime achievement, I'm not sure there's as much on the other side.

"The reception I got was fantastic. Obviously being from Northern Ireland, it made it very special for me.

"You could feel that from the whole atmosphere in the room. I found it was very overwhelming."

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