AP McCoy to return to the saddle for charity race

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  • AP McCoy is set make a return to the saddle, as the 20-time champion jockey has signed up for a one-off in a charity race.

    The Leger Legends Classified Stakes is held at Doncaster racecourse on 9 September.

    AP was persuaded to take on the challenge by Jack Berry from the Injured Jockeys Fund, to help raise funds for the charity.

    “I got bullied into it by Jack Berry! I have no idea who I will be riding against and I had no desire to do it at all but it is in a good cause and I am doing it for Jack, nobody else,” AP told the Racing Post.

    “I have been riding out so I hope fitness won’t be a problem but it will be once and once only.”

    The race is for ex-professional jockeys and takes place at the St Leger meeting in September. Last year’s race was won by Dale Gibson.

    Doncaster managing director Mark Spincer said: “We’re absolutely delighted. It will be fabulous to have the champ riding on that day, no doubt about it.”

    AP retired at the end of the 2014-15 jumps season in April, in front of a packed crowd at Sandown.

    He finished on a career tally of jumps 4,348 winners.

    “I always dreamed of getting out while I was still performing well. I’m going to miss what I do… What I did.

    “The most emotional moment was riding in front of the stands [after the last race] with the people clapping and cheering,” he said after retiring on 25 April.

    His final ride was aboard the Jonjo O’Neill runner Box Office, owned by JP McManus, in the Bet365 Handicap Hurdle, when he again finished third.

    JP McManus added his own tribute after AP’s final race: “I’m a great admirer of his, not just as a jockey but as a man. He has the respect of everybody.”

    Since his retirement he’s been spotted at Punchestown races in Ireland as a spectator, describing the experience as “very weird”.

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