The AP McCoy story: 11 mindblowing facts about the 20-time champion

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  • The most successful National Hunt jockey of all time bows out at Sandown today (25 April) after being crowned champion jockey for the 20th time. We take a look back at the career of “The Champ” — who truly is a legend of the sport

    1. Anthony Peter (AP) McCoy was born on 4 May 1974 and rode his first winner at the age of 17 on the Flat for trainer Jim Bolger in Ireland.

    2. He moved to England in 1994 and served as conditional jump jockey to Toby Balding, being crowned champion conditional in 1995. He has reigned as champion jockey every year since, far exceeding the previous record of eight titles set by Peter Scudamore.

    3. During this time, he’s been smashing records left, right and centre, but he’s also broken nearly every bone in his body – everything from his teeth to his vertebrae – gaining a reputation as something of an iron man when it comes to recovering from serious injury.


    4. His 1000th winner came on Majadou at Cheltenham on 11 December 1999; his 2000th on Magical Bailiwick at Wincanton, 17 January 2004; his 3000th on Restless D’Artaix at Plumpton, 9 February 2009 and his 4000th on Mountain Tunes, in the colours of loyal owner JP McManus, at Towcester on 7 November 2013.

    5. He was awarded the title of BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2010 – the first jockey to win it. The same year he also received an OBE for services to horse racing.

    6. He finally won the Grand National in 2010 on Don’t Push It at his 15th attempt – the same number of times it took Frankie Dettori to win the Derby.


    7. He’s won pretty much every other major National Hunt race including the Champion Hurdle, King George VI Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup twice – his second win on Synchronised in 2012 came 15 years after his first victory in the race on Mr Mulligan.

    8. McCoy is perhaps best known for the seven years he spent riding for Martin Pipe and, on 19 July 2014, he reached a personal milestone by surpassing the trainer’s total of 4,191 winners.

    9. On 21 August 2014 he broke his own record for the fastest ever century of winners for a NH season: 116 days.

    10. He announced his retirement after his 200th winner of the season on Mr Mole at Newbury in February 2015.

    11. He’ll end his career having made his mark in over 18,000 races and will go down in history as the most successful jockey of all time.

    We’ll miss you AP!

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