Tony McCoy

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For the American football player, see Tony McCoy (American football).
A. P. McCoy
Tony McCoy 2014 (cropped).jpg
McCoy in 2014
Occupation Jockey
Born (1974-05-04) 4 May 1974 (age 40)
Moneyglass, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Career wins 4,252 (as of 19 September 2014)
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
Honours
OBE
BBC Sports Personality of the Year (2010)
RTÉ Sports Person of the Year (2013)

Anthony Peter McCoy OBE (born 4 May 1974),[1] commonly known as AP McCoy or Tony McCoy, is a Northern Irish horse racing jockey, currently based in England. He was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2010, becoming the first jockey to win the award.[2] In December 2013, he was named RTÉ Sports Person of the Year.[3]

McCoy recorded his first winner in 1992 at age 17. On 7 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 2013/2014, has won 19 consecutive Champion Jockey titles,[4] beating the previous record of 7 consecutive titles set by Peter Scudamore. McCoy has won almost every big race there is to win.[5] 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.[6]

Career[edit]

McCoy on Refinement in 2006

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. HIs 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.[7]

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.[8]

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. He 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.He beat Richards' record of 269 winners in a season on 'Valfonic' at Warwick on 2 April 2002. He achieved a new high of 289 winners, and on 27 August 2002, at Uttoxeter, his victory on 'Mighty Montefalco' meant he had surpassed Richard Dunwoody's all time jumps record and was now the leading jumps jockey. He 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.[9]

In spite of wins in the biggest races on the jumps racing calendar, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, and King George VI Chase, it was the Grand National which had eluded McCoy. The nearest he had 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. McCoy won the Grand National at the fifteenth attempt, on 10 April 2010 aboard Don't Push It, trained by Jonjo O'Neill and owned by J. P. McManus.[6]

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, 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.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12] 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. He 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.[13]

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.[14][15][16] 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.[17][18]

McCoy reached the 150 winners landmark for the 2013/2014 season after riding a double at Ffos Las racecourse on the 16th December 2013. This was the 18th time, out of the 20 seasons riding in Britain, he has surpassed 150 winners for a season.[19] At the end of the 2013/14 season, McCoy was crowned Champion jockey for the 19th consecutive time, further extending his record of title wins.[4]

On 10 June 2014, McCoy recorded his fastest ever half century of winners for a season after riding the Rebecca Curtis trained 'Bob Keown' to victory at Worcester Racecourse. McCoy achieved the 50 winner mark for the 2014-15 National Hunt season, which started on the 27 April 2014, in just 44 days [20]

On 19 July 2014, McCoy reached a significant personal milestone by surpassing the total of 4,191 winners which friend and mentor Martin Pipe achieved as a licensed trainer before retirement in 2006.[21] McCoy recorded winner number 4,192 by guiding the Jonjo O'Neill trained 'It's A Gimme' to victory in the Betfred Summer Plate Listed Handicap Chase at Market Rasen Racecourse. McCoy enjoyed a long period of success as stable jockey to the 15 time Champion Trainer Martin Pipe.

McCoy broke his own record for the fastest ever century of winners for a National Hunt season, recording his 100th winner of the 2014/2015 campaign on board the John Ferguson trained 'Arabic History' at Newton Abbot Racecourse on the 21 August 2014, 116 days into the season. McCoy's previous record, set during the 2001/2002 season, stood at 100 winners by 4 September, approximately 130 days into the season.[22]

Trainer Relationships and Colours[edit]

Tony McCoy on Straw Bear, winner of the 2006 Fighting Fifth Hurdle

McCoy is retained by Irish millionaire 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. He has won a further 10 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. 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. He rides a number of horses for Welsh based trainer Rebecca Curtis. He also 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.[23]

Sports Personality of the Year[edit]

The Real McCoy was named 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year and in doing so became the first jockey to win the prestigious award, polling ahead of legendary darts player Phil Taylor and Olympic 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 former winner Andrew Flintoff then Arsenal Captain Cesc Fabregas.

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. He 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.[citation needed]

He 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 finished in third place behind the winner Andy Murray and runner up Leigh Halfpenny. He was named 2013 RTÉ Irish Sports Personality of the year on the 21st December 2013.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

McCoy was born in Moneyglass, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. He and his wife Chanelle have two children. Far taller than most jockeys, he stands 1.78 m (5'10.5"). To maintain a suitable racing weight, McCoy must keep his weight down to 63.5 kg (10 stone). His natural weight, based on his physiology, should be about 75 kg (one and a half stone more).[24]

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.[citation needed]

McCoy is an Arsenal fan.[25] 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." [26]

Honours[edit]

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, 2013/2014

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)

McCoy was appointed MBE in the 2003 Queen's Birthday Honours[27] and OBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours for his services to horse racing.[28][29]

In December 2010, McCoy was named Sportsman of the Year at the British Sports Awards in London, voted for by the Sports Journalists' Association.[30]

In 2010, McCoy won the 'Jump off the Sofa Moment' Award at the Jaguar Academy of Sport Annual Awards ceremony for his Grand National win.[31]

In December 2013, McCoy was officially awarded three Guinness World Records. He was presented with certificates to mark his record of 289 jump wins in the 2001/2002 season, the most Champion Jump Jockey titles (currently 19) and the most career jump winners, 4022 as of 4 December 2013.[32]

Career statistics[edit]

Big Race Wins[edit]

Cheltenham Festival

Major Nationals

Other Notable Races

Winning Milestones[edit]

  • 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 National Hunt Winners in Britain by Season[edit]

  • 1994/95 200
  • 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
  • 2013/14 218

† 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

Total National Hunt winners in Ireland by Season[edit]

  • 1993-94 3
  • 1994-95 4
  • 1995-96 7
  • 1996-97 2
  • 1997-98 8
  • 1998-99 4
  • 1999-00 7
  • 2000-01 0
  • 2001-02 1
  • 2002-03 0
  • 2003-04 0
  • 2004-05 13
  • 2005-06 22
  • 2006-07 7
  • 2007-08 8
  • 2008-09 5
  • 2009-10 6
  • 2010-11 6
  • 2011-12 12
  • 2012-13 8
  • 2013-14 11

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2014. "Mr Tony McCoy, National Hunt jockey, 37" 
  2. ^ "Jockey Tony McCoy wins Sports Personality of the Year". BBC Sport. 19 December 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Perennial champion jockey McCoy wins RTÉ award". RTÉ Sport. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Allison, Peter (28 April 2014). "Sire de Grugy finishes season on a high". The Scotsman. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Lysaght, Cornelius (7 July 2014). "AP McCoy: Jockey closes on Martin Pipe winners record". Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Scott, Brough (11 April 2010). "AP McCoy nails the one prize that had eluded him". The Sunday Times (London, UK: News International). Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  7. ^ http://www.napit.co.uk/viewus/infobank/rcinformation/jockeys-trainers/british-jump-racing-champion-jockey.php
  8. ^ "McCoy and Pipe lead the way". The Daily Telegraph (London). 28 August 2002. 
  9. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2009/feb/09/tony-mccoy-3000-winners-horse-racing
  10. ^ "Tony McCoy wins second Cheltenham Gold Cup on Synchronised". The Guardian (London). 16 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Synchronised and According to Pete die in Grand National". BBC Sport. 14 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Armytage, Marcus (18 April 2013). "AP McCoy taken to hospital with chest injury". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  13. ^ "AP McCoy in irrepressible form with two more Aintree winners". The Daily Telegraph (London). 27 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "Racing legend Tony McCoy reaches amazing landmark with 4,000th winner". Irish Independent. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  15. ^ "AP McCoy claims historic 4,000th career winner". BBC Sport. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "Tony McCoy celebrates 4,000th winner at Towcester on Mountain Tunes". Guardian UK. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  17. ^ Hayward, Paul (7 November 2013). "AP McCoy's 4,000 wins is a sporting achievement that is unsurpassable". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  18. ^ Townend, Marcus (7 November 2013). "McCoy brings up the fantastic 4,000 at Towcester as champion jockey wins on Mountain Tunes". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  19. ^ http://www.racingpost.com/horses/jockey_home.sd?jockey_id=9482#topJockTabs=jockey_stats_summary&bottomJockTabs=jockey_stats
  20. ^ "McCoy on a mission with fastest ever half century". Racing Post (London). 10 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "McCoy edges past Pipe record at Market Rasen". Racing Post (London). 19 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Magical Mccoy Bags Fastest Ton". Sporting Life (London). 21 August 2014. 
  23. ^ http://www.espn.co.uk/horseracing/sport/story/255483.html
  24. ^ Jockey Profiles - Tony McCoy BBC Sport, 2002
  25. ^ McCoy, A.P. (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, UK). 
  26. ^ "AP McCoy: Champion jockey joins BBC Radio 5 live racing team". BBC (London). 15 October 2013. 
  27. ^ Armytage, Marcus (14 June 2003). "McCoy 'surprised' to be awarded an MBE". London, UK: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 April 2010. 
  28. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59446. p. 11. 12 June 2010.
  29. ^ Tony McCoy and Kyle McCallan head NI sporting honours BBC Sport, 11 June 2010
  30. ^ Armytage, Marcus (2010-12-08). "A P McCoy on a winning roll after being named Sportsman of The Year". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  31. ^ Jaguar Academy of Sport. "Annual Awards". 
  32. ^ McCoy eyes more winners after jumping into Guinness Book of World Records (9 December 2013). "McCoy Guinness World Records". Daily Mail (London). 
  33. ^ Scott, Brough (6 December 2008), Tony McCoy powers Master Minded home in The Tingle Creek Chase, London, UK: The Daily Telegraph, retrieved 4 November 2010 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Katie Taylor
RTÉ Sports Person of the Year
2013
Succeeded by
Incumbent