20100410

McCoy books place in history


There can have been few more popular winning jockeys than Tony McCoy in the history of the Grand National.

The 35-year-old Ulsterman today won the great steeplechase at the 15th attempt on Don't Push It, enabling him at last to fill in the one missing line in his cv.  He had won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the King George VI Chase, The Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Champion Hurdle and the Irish National in a career amassing more than 3,000 winners.

The most successful jumps rider of all time, he has been champion National Hunt jockey 14 times, setting the record for the number of winning rides in a single jumps season at 253 in 1997-98 before breaking Sir Gordon Richards' record of 269 in a season for all types of racing when he rode 289 winners in the 2001-02 campaign.

Yet he had never finished better than third in the Aintree classic until Don't Push It's victory by five lengths from Black Apalachi this afternoon.

The result also ended owner JP McManus's quest to win the National.  His familiar green and gold hoops had been carried round the gruelling course by 33 horses before he was finally able to cheer one of them home first.

McCoy revealed that it was not confirmed that he would ride the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Don't Push It ahead of stable companion Can't Buy Time until Thursday.

He wept after crossing the line as rival jockeys offered their congratulations, the victory confirming McCoy as the greatest jump jockey of all time.

It demands a revision of his life story, McCoy: The Autobiography, written in collaboration with racing journalist Steve Taylor and published in 2002.

Not everyone knows... that Tony McCoy was only 17 when he rode his first winner, Legal Steps, at Thurles in 1992; that, at 5ft 10ins tall, his frequent riding weight of 10 stone is around a stone and a half below his natural weight; that he is a close friend of rival jockey Ruby Walsh, who often visits his family home in Lambourn, Berkshire.


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