The racing world is reeling from the news that the long-standing partnership of champion jockey Tony McCoy and champion trainer Martin Pipe has come to an end.
In a surprise move, Tony McCoy is to become the contracted jockey of the wealthy Irish owner J P McManus, and he will be based at Jonjo O’Neill’s Jackdaws Castle stables. The move is expected to make him the best-paid jump jockey in history.
McCoy and Pipe have rewritten jump racing’s record books in recent years, with an iron grip on the champion jockey and trainer titles respectively. The two men’s shared passion for winners has made them an unbeatable partnership.
Both parties have been keen to stress that their parting is totally amicable. McCoy has been effusive in his thanks to the Pipe family, and described yesterday as an incredibly sad day.
McCoy told The Daily Telegraph: “It’s going to be a huge change. I’m very much looking forward to it. I hope to continue to do a good job and will still be trying very much to be champion jockey.”
McCoy, who turns 30 next Tuesday, can look forward to enjoying the state-of-the-art facilities at O’Neill’s yard, which is home to top horses such as Rhinestone Cowboy and Keen Leader. McCoy will also be able to choose more outside rides as part of the new deal.
“The agreement is that I’m first jockey at Jackdaws Castle this season. Jonjo wants me riding the best horses as much as possible. He has fewer horses than Martin, which means there should be a greater opportunity for outside rides in the big races,” he explained.