To celebrate the 20-time champion jockey AP McCoy's 42nd birthday today (4 May 2016), we've picked out just some of the many highlights from an outstanding career in the saddle, before his retirement last April
1. The best things come to those who wait
In 2010, on his 15th attempt, AP McCoy lands the Grand National. He rode Don’t Push It to victory for owner JP McManus and trainer Jonjo O’Neill. The emotion tells it all.
2. Record breaker
In 2013, McCoy becomes the first jockey to ride 4,000 winners, steering another JP McManus mount, Mountain Tunes, to victory at Towcester.
3. Champion at Cheltenham
Two seasons in to his professional riding career in Great Britain, the Ulster-born jockey lands his first Cheltenham Festival race – the Champion Hurdle on Make A Stand.
4. Family first
The Champ now lives in Berkshire with his wife Chanelle and two children Eve and Archie.
5. Tony “The Real” McCoy gives Eric Bristow some anxious moments
He may have spent the past quarter of a century dedicated to the racetrack, but McCoy found time outside his “day job” to dabble in some other sports. We hear he is a master of the swing on the golf course and seems to have a talent for darts. We’re not sure if he’s found his second career, however.
6. Recognised by all
In 2010, he was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year – the first jockey to earn the title. And in 2015 he received a lifetime achievement award at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year show.
7. Media scrum
McCoy faces a barrage of photographers after his Grand National success and he was followed by a hefty herd of journalists and autograph-hunters ever since he announced he would be retiring.
McCoy lands the first of his two Cheltenham Gold Cup successes on Mr Mulligan in 1997.
9. The ups and the downs
As well as winning every major National Hunt race, McCoy has experienced several bone-crunching falls in his career, breaking nearly every bone in his body.
10. Best ever
McCoy names Synchronised as one of the best horses he’s ever ridden. They triumphed in the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup, but the jockey was said to be absolutely devastated when his mount was fatally injured during the Grand National that same year.
With weighing room colleague Ruby Walsh.
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12. The legend that is AP McCoy
Since his retirement the racing world has missed his determined finishes, his complete sportsmanship and his humour. The weighing room will never be quite the same again.