AP McCoy may have retired from racing but it didn’t stop him from donning his gear and getting back in the saddle to put a promising four-year-old through its paces on the gallops.
The 20-time champion jockey, who hung up his boots in 2015, made a visit to the Andover yard of racehorse trainer Jeremy Gask.
He was teamed up with the stable’s bright hope Born To Finish. The gelding is joint-owned by ex-England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright, who is part of a syndicate named Crowd Racing Partnership.
“It was great riding Ian’s horse Born to Finish. He’s a good horse, with loads of speed and it’s great that Ian’s had so much success with him,” said AP of the son of Dark Angel, who has enjoyed success on the all-weather including a hat trick of wins within two weeks.
“We could do with seeing more lads like Ian getting involved in racing — so hopefully we’ll see more of him on the racecourse,” he added.
Ian, a former record goal scorer for Arsenal, has relished his experience as a racehorse owner and described watching AP aboard his horse as “a beautiful thing.”
He added: “It’s my first go at ownership and I’m in with a group of people — it’s really nice when you’re with everybody and they’re all so excited about it because you all have a little piece of him. A hat trick of wins was unbelievable.
“I just want the horse to be okay — whether it wins or loses — I’m not really too fussed, but the fact is, you just feel a nice bond with him. It’s been such good fun.”
AP also treated visitors to Lambourn Open Day on Good Friday (14 April) when he took part in a schooling session upsides John Francome, before enjoying a spot of mounted games during the annual jockeys challenge.