Horse Racing legend AP McCoy brings his magnificent career to a close collecting his 20th Champion Jockey trophy, before a packed house at sunny Sandown.
It was almost perfect.
A sell out crowd of more than 18,000 people at sunny Sandown, a whole host of celebrities standing in line to pay their respects, and his close friends and family all in tow.
The only thing that horse racing legend AP McCoy was missing was his 4,349th professional victory. He was always the box office star, but his horse of the same name could do no better than third, as a tearful McCoy pulled down a reluctant curtain on the most amazing career.
He rode two horses on his final day. Both of them came third. But none of that mattered one iota. It was a day of celebration for a true sporting legend. The only jockey to ever win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year (2010), a recipient of the MBE and OBE, and winner of the Champions Jockey in each of the 20-years that he rode as a professional.
McCoy is a big Arsenal fan, and he would have been delighted to receive his 20th, and final, Champions Jockey trophy, from the former Arsenal legend Ian Wright.
“AP McCoy is made of something else altogether. For 20 years he has been at the top of his game, riding winners, week in week out. I can think of no other sportsman or woman who can match his record.” Said Wright.
McCoy was the victim of over a thousand falls during his career. He broke over 40 bones. At 40-years of age, it was time to call it a day. It was perfect that he went out at the very top of the game; a summit he had enjoyed every year he was a professional.
Wright said he couldn’t think of any other sportsman, or woman, who could match that record. He is not alone. There are many sports pundits who believe his record of 20 titles will never be beaten. Not McCoy though – the Irishman believes all records fall…some day.
“Someone will break my records. All records are broken. I just hope I am dead when they do.” Said McCoy.
McCoy rode his first winner at the age of 17. Legal Steps racing home in a flat race at Thurles racecourse in Ireland. His 4,348th, and final winner, came on Capard King at Ayr on 17 April.
He won the Grand National in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. His 2010 victory on Don’t Push It, was his only victory in the big one. He competed in 14 races.