|A. P. McCoy|
McCoy on Refinement in 2006
4 May 1974 |
Moneyglass, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
|Career wins||4,000 (as of 7th November 2013)|
|Major racing wins, honours and awards|
|Major racing wins|
|Grand National, Gold Cup, Champion Chase, Champion Hurdle, King George, Ryanair Chase, RSA Chase, Tingle Creek, Arkle, Welsh Grand National, Scottish Grand National, Midlands Grand National, Irish Grand National, Lexus Chase, Galway Plate|
Sports Personality of the Year
McCoy recorded his first win in 1992 at just 17 years of age. On 7th November 2013 McCoy rode his 4,000th winner, riding Mountain Tunes to victory at Towcester. McCoy has been Champion Jockey every year he has been professional. Even in his first season riding in Britain, as an apprentice for now retired trainer Toby Balding, McCoy won the Conditional Jump Jockeys Title with a record 74 winners for a conditional jockey. McCoy claimed his first Champion Jockey title in 1995/6 and, as of 2012/2013, has won 18 consecutive Champion Jockey titles, beating the previous record of 7 consecutive titles by Peter Scudamore.
McCoy is considered the perennial champion jockey and is often referred to as simply 'the Champ' or his initials 'AP' by weighing room colleagues, punters, commentators and racing journalists alike.
McCoy has won almost every big race there is to win. His most high profile winners include the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, King George VI Chase and the 2010 Grand National, riding Don't Push It.
McCoy has had a number of injuries since becoming a jump jockey, one of the many occupational hazards that comes with race riding. McCoy has broken or dislocated almost every bone in his body (some of them multiple times), including middle and lower vertebrae, both shoulder blades, ribs, an ankle, cheekbones, a wrist, a leg, collar bone, fingers and teeth.
McCoy rode his first winner of his career on the Jim Bolger trained 'Legal Steps', in a flat race at Thurles racecourse in Ireland, on 26 March 1992 at the age of 17. McCoy served as an apprentice at Jim Bolger's stable for the initial part of his career. Whilst riding work for Bolger one morning, McCoy suffered a nasty fall and broke his leg on the gallops. By the time McCoy recovered from his leg break, he had continue to grow taller and as a result it was decided that the best option was to become a jump jockey.
Success in Ireland soon led to a move across the Irish Sea, and he began riding in England in 1994. McCoy's first win in England came at Exeter on 7 September 1994 riding the Gordon Edwards trained Chickabiddy to a length victory. In his first season in England, McCoy served as a conditional jockey for successful trainer Toby Balding, which culminated in winning the Conditional Jump Jockeys Title in 1995. The following season he became champion jockey for the first time.
McCoy had burst on the scene as a result of his first season riding in Britain and soon attracted the attention of leading trainer Martin Pipe and, then, upcoming (and now current Champion Trainer) Paul Nicholls. McCoy joined forces with powerful trainer Martin Pipe in 1997 and between them they proved to be an exceptionally strong partnership which dominated the sport.
By the end of the decade McCoy had set a new National Hunt record for winners in a season (253), equaled the record of five winners at the 1998 Cheltenham Festival, and became the fastest jockey to reach the 100 winner mark in a season in 2001. McCoy went on to beat the long standing record of legendary jockey Sir Gordon Richards' for the total number of winners ridden in a season, which has stood since 1947. McCoy puts this as his biggest achievement, despite his multiple Champion Jockey titles and big race victories. McCoy beat Richards' record of 269 winners in a season on 'Valfonic' at Warwick on 2 April 2002. McCoy soon achieved a new high of 289 winners, and on 27 August 2002, at Uttoxeter, his victory on 'Mighty Mantefalco' meant he had surpassed Richard Dunwoody's record of all time jumps winners and was now the leading jumps jockey of all time.
McCoy became the first jump jockey to ride 2,500 winners when getting 'Kanpai' up to score at Huntingdon on 3 October 2006,. McCoy rode his 3000th winner at Plumpton on the Nicky Henderson trained 'Restless D'Artaix' in the Tyser & Co Beginners’ Chase on 9 February 2009.
In spite of wins in the biggest races on the jumps racing calender, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and King George VI Chase, the Grand National was one race which had eluded McCoy, yet desperate to win. The nearest McCoy had previously come in the National were three third-place finishes, in 2001, 2002 aboard Martin Pipe's Blowing Wind, and in 2006 on Jonjo O'Neill's 5-1 joint favourite, Clan Royal, who was still traveling well when hampered by a loose horse cost any chance of victory.
In 2012, McCoy won his second Cheltenham Gold Cup on Synchronised, trained by Jonjo O'Neill and owned by JP McManus, 15 years after his first Gold Cup win on Mr Mulligan. McCoy's winning ride on Synchronised typified his career as a jockey. Synchronised appeared outpaced during the first half of the extended 3 mile contest, however, through the cajoling, perseverance and skill of McCoy, Synchronised stayed on powerfully up the famous Cheltenham hill to pass both former winner Long Run and The Giant Bolster to land blue riband event at the Cheltenham Festival.
During the 2012 Grand National, McCoy's mount Synchronised fell at Becher's Brook, the sixth fence on the first circuit. The horse suffered a soft-tissue injury, but did not appear to have sustained serious injury. However, Synchronised continued running riderless until attempting to jump the 11th fence where he fell and incurred a fracture of the tibia and fibula in his right-hind leg.
McCoy made a delayed start to the 2013/2014 National Hunt season after breaking his ribs from a heavy fall on the Nicky Henderson trained Quantitativeeasing in a handicap hurdle at Cheltenham's end of season April meeting. McCoy, who spent seven nights in hospital, returned to action a month later at Ludlow and immediately opened his account for the season on the JP McManus owned horse Church Field. McCoy surpassed the 100 winner mark for the 2013/2014 season after riding a remarkable 5-timer at Carlisle racecourse in October, closely followed by 5 winners over the two day Aintree October meeting.
McCoy sealed his 4000th career win riding the Jonjo O'Neill trained 'Mountain Tunes', in the colours of owner JP McManus, to a hard fought victory in the Weatherbys Novices' Hurdle at Towcester on 7 November 2013. The winning ride typified the ability and strength of McCoy in the saddle. His mount, 'Mountain Tunes', looked to have little chance with two hurdles to jump yet McCoy managed to get up in the final strides to beat 'Kris Spin' ridden by Jamie Moore.
Trainer Relationships and Colours
McCoy is retained by the Irish millionaire and powerful racehorse owner, J. P. McManus and therefore rides all of his horses in Britain and occasionally Ireland. McCoy joined forces with J. P. McManus in 2004 after reportedly being offered a £1 million a year retainer. McCoy had previously spent seven years as Martin Pipe's first jockey and many within racing were surprised of his decision to split from the all conquering Pipe stable. Many felt McCoy would struggle to retain his Champion Jockey title without the firepower provided by Pipe. However, McCoy has continued to dominate the sport and has won a further 9 jockey titles since their separation of ways.
J.P. McManus has the majority of his horses in training with ex-jockey Jonjo O'Neill who trains at the state-of-the-art training facility 'Jackdaws Castle' in Gloucestershire, which is owned by McManus. As such, McCoy often rides horses trained by Jonjo O'Neill in addition to those owned by McManus.
When not required to ride for McManus or O'Neill, McCoy has struck up a number of links with leading national hunt trainers. McCoy rides a number of horses for Welsh based trainer Rebecca Curtis. In addition, McCoy often links up with for powerful trainer Nicky Henderson when his first jockey Barry Geraghty is riding in Ireland.
McCoy is most commonly associated with the famous green and gold hooped silks of legendary owner J. P. McManus.
Sports Personality of the Year
McCoy was awarded the 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year, ahead of darts player Phil Taylor and heptathlete Jessica Ennis who finished second and third place respectively. McCoy's win in the 2010 Grand National at his 15th attempt on board the Jonjo O'Neill trained Don't Push It was seen to be the main contributing factor to his win. He was presented with the award by Andrew Flintoff then Arsenal Captain Cesc Fabregas and during his acceptance speech McCoy joked that he will be "that idiot in the crowd shouting at him" when he next goes to watch Arsenal play.
McCoy was made the bookmakers' favourite for the award after his Grand National victory, however there were concerns that those beyond the horse racing fraternity may not fully understand his incredible achievements in racing and subsequently decide to vote for other contenders from 'mainstream' sports. However, these fears were allayed as McCoy received 293,152 votes, which was more than former winners Zara Phillips (2006), Joe Calzaghe (2007), Sir Chris Hoy (2008) or Ryan Giggs (2009). McCoy’s percentage of the vote was 42% which was also higher than any of his four predecessors and made him one of the most clear-cut winners of the award in recent history.
McCoy again made the final shortlist of ten for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2013 after surpassing the landmark total of 4000 career winners over jumps during the course of the 2013/2014 National Hunt racing season.
McCoy stands at 1.78 m (5'10.5") which is relatively tall for a jockey. In order to maintain a suitable racing weight, McCoy must keep his weight down to 63.5 kg (10 stone). McCoy's natural weight, based on his physiology, should be about 75 kg (one and a half stone more). McCoy's diet, similar to many jockeys, typically involves a strong mug of sugary tea for breakfast and one slice of toast (depending on the weight requirements for the afternoons racing). Breakfast is often followed by sweating in the bath for one hour. At the races, McCoy's lunch will again involve another cup of tea and a couple of jelly babies. After racing, McCoy eats dinner early to give his food time to digest. His evening meal commonly consists of lean meat or fish. He only eats dinner four times a week. McCoy will sweat for an hour in the bath before bed.
He wrote an autobiography, McCoy in 2003, to follow up his first book, Real McCoy: My Life So Far, which was released in 1999. In 2011, the hardback of A.P.McCoy: My Autobiography was published. This new autobiography provided a more in depth look of his life to date, and focused on his relationship with wife Chanelle, winning the Grand National for the first time and being named BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010.
McCoy is an avid Arsenal fan. The clash between Arsenal fixtures and race meetings means McCoy can only attend a handful of fixtures each season, commonly midweek European and domestic cup fixtures played on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. McCoy is a friend of Arsenal legend Ray Parlour and played a part in the naming of a racehorse The Romford Pele, in reference to Parlour's nickname during his playing days.
In October 2013, it was announced that McCoy is to join BBC Radio 5 Live as a racing pundit every Friday evening on the '5 Live Sport' programme hosted by Dan Walker. BBC head of radio sport Richard Burgess said: "This addition means our audiences will get a regular insight from one of the sport's greats." 
Champion Jockey: 1995/96, 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/2000, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/2013
Champion Conditional Jockey: 1994/95
Lester Awards: McCoy has been honoured with 20 Lester Awards during his riding career to date, the most of any jockey past or present.
- Conditional Jockey of the Year: 1995
- Jump Jockey of the Year: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
- Jockey of the Year: 1997 (award discontinued after 1997)
- Jump Ride of the Year: 2009 (for the winning ride on Wichita Lineman in the William Hill Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival on 10 March 2009), 2012 (for the winning ride on Synchronised in the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival on 16 March 2012)
Big Race Wins
- Cheltenham Gold Cup: Mr Mulligan 1997, Synchronised 2012
- Champion Chase: Edredon Bleu 2000
- Champion Hurdle: Make A Stand 1997, Brave Inca 2006, Binocular 2010
- Arkle Challenge Trophy: Or Royal 1997, Champleve 1998, Well Chief 2004
- Ryanair Chase: Cyfor Malta 1998, Royal Auclair 2002, Albertas Run, 2010, 2011
- William Hill Trophy: Wichita Lineman 2009
- RSA Chase: Albertas Run 2008
- Supreme Novices' Hurdle: Hors La Loi III 1999
- Jewson Novices' Chase: Noble Prince 2011
- County Hurdle: Blowing Wind 1998, Alderwood 2012
- Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle: Black Jack Ketchum 2006, Wichita Lineman 2007, At Fishers Cross 2013
- Byrne Group Plate: Majadou 1999
- Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase: Kibreet 1996, Edredon Bleu 1998, Alderwood 2013
- Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle): Unsinkable Boxer 1998
- Pulteney Land Investments Novices' Handicap Chase: Reveillez 2006
- Champion Bumper: Liberman 2003
- Grand National: Don't Push It, 2010
- Welsh Grand National: Synchronised, 2010
- Irish Grand National: Butler's Cabin, 2007
- Midlands Grand National: Synchronised, 2010
- Scottish Grand National: Belmont King, 1997
Other Notable Races
- King George: Best Mate 2002
- Bet365 Gold Cup: Bounce Back 2002, Hennessy 2009
- Tingle Creek Chase: Master Minded, 2008
- Paddy Power Gold Cup: Cyfor Malta 1998, Lady Cricket 2000, Shooting Light 2001, Exotic Dancer 2007
- Melling Chase: Viking Flagship 1996, Albertas Run 2010
- Aintree Hurdle: Pridwell 1998
- Sefton Novices' Hurdle: At Fishers Cross 2013
- Victor Chandler Chase: Master Minded 2011
- Christmas Hurdle: Straw Bear 2006, Binocular 2010, 2011, Darlan 2012
- Galway Plate: Finger Onthe Pulse 2010, Carlingford Lough 2013
- Lexus Chase: Exotic Dancer 2008, Synchronised 2011
- Challow Hurdle: Wichita Lineman 2006, Backspin 2010, Taquin Du Seuil 2012
- Fighting Fifth Hurdle: Straw Bear 2006, My Tent Or Yours 2013
- Irish Champion Hurdle: Brave Inca 2006
- Long Walk Hurdle: Deano's Beeno 2002, Baracouda 2004, Big Buck's 2010
- Champion Novice Hurdle: Alderwood 2012
- Hatton's Grace Hurdle: Jezki 2013
- 1,000th winner: Majadou, Cheltenham, 11 December 1999
- 1,500th winner: Celtic Native, Exeter, 20 December 2001
- 2,000th winner: Magical Bailiwick, Wincanton, 17 January 2004
- 2,500th winner: Kanpai, Huntingdon, 3 October 2006
- 3,000th winner: Restless D'Artaix, Plumpton, 9 February 2009
- 4,000th winner: Mountain Tunes, Towcester, 7 November 2013
Total Winners by Season
- 1994/95 74
- 1995/96 175
- 1996/97 190
- 1997/98 253
- 1998/99 186
- 1999/00 245
- 2000/01 191
- 2001/02 289 †
- 2002/03 258
- 2003/04 209
- 2004/05 200
- 2005/06 178
- 2006/07 184
- 2007/08 140
- 2008/09 186
- 2009/10 195
- 2010/11 218
- 2011/12 199
- 2012/13 185
† A British Horse Racing record for most winners ridden in a season by a jockey (flat or jumps), beating Sir Gordon Richards' long-standing record of 269 winners set in 1947
- "Jockey Tony McCoy wins Sports Personality of the Year". BBC Sport. 19 December 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
- Scott, Brough (11 April 2010). "AP McCoy nails the one prize that had eluded him". The Sunday Times (London: News International). Retrieved 12 April 2010.
- "Synchronised and According to Pete die in Grand National". BBC sport. 14 April 2012.
- "AP McCoy taken to hospital with chest injury". The Daily Telegraph. 18 April 2013.
- "Racing legend Tony McCoy reaches amazing landmark with 4,000th winner". Irish Independent. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- "AP McCoy claims historic 4,000th career winner". BBC Sport. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- "Tony McCoy celebrates 4,000th winner at Towcester on Mountain Tunes". Guardian UK. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- "AP McCoy's 4,000 wins is a sporting achievement that is unsurpassable". Daily Telegraph. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- "McCoy brings up the fantastic 4,000 at Towcester as champion jockey wins on Mountain Tunes". Daily Mail. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- Jockey Profiles - Tony McCoy BBC Sport, 2002
- McCoy, Ap (17 December 2010). "AP McCoy: I'm heading for the Emirates to watch Arsenal play Stoke now that Ascot is off". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- "AP McCoy: Champion jockey joins BBC Radio 5 live racing team". BBC (London). 15 October 2013.
- Armytage, Marcus (14 June 2003). "McCoy 'surprised' to be awarded an MBE". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- The London Gazette: . 12 June 2010.
- Tony McCoy and Kyle McCallan head NI sporting honours BBC Sport, 11 June 2010
- Armytage, Marcus (2010-12-08). "A P McCoy on a winning roll after being named Sportsman of The Year". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- Jaguar Academy of Sport. "Annual Awards".
- Scott, Brough (6 December 2008), Tony McCoy powers Master Minded home in The Tingle Creek Chase, London: The Daily Telegraph, retrieved 4 November 2010
- Collected news and articles at the Guardian
- Times Online report on McCoy
- Racingbase.com People: Tony McCoy
- Racing Post Statistics
- Sporting Life Statistics