McCoy Will Leave a Black Hole In Racing

I have got up and looked at the cards every day for 10 years, it is my life, it is what I do and now the best of the best in the saddle will no longer be there listed!

AP McCoy was champion conditional in 1994 and Champion Jockey for 20 years in succession. I was 24 in 1994, I can barely remember what punting was like before McCoy. If you think back to 1994, there was no Google, I didn’t have a mobile phone, never mind a smart phone, I didn’t even have the internet. I was working at William Hill, as Marketing Manager, we had never even contemplated the idea of internet betting. It would be six years before Betfair came along!


Here are some of the most amazing stats in racing for you….

  • 6,000 x races
  • 4,357 x wins
  • 1,000 x falls
  • 40 x broken bones

McCoy’s achievements are staggering really. Look at the jockeys that have come and gone in the 21 years he was in the saddle. It is a long list. I once heard a stat that McCoy also held the record for the most rides in an ambulance by a non NHS worker in Britain! Remember his is a job where an ambulance follows you every step of the way. To win 21 titles in a row is nothing short of incredible.

Some people said that Cheltenham and Aintree will not be the same without McCoy. For me it is the meetings at Plumpton, Fakenham, Wetherby during the week. This is where McCoy pumped out the winners day in day out. I have lost count of the number of horses he has picked up and listed over the line. The McCoy Miracles, they will be gone.

There are plenty of good jockeys riding over jumps, there are plenty of bad ones too, but there is no one like McCoy. He was a genuine one off. When I started my punting it was the back end of Lester Piggott’s career. I used to wish I had been about for him at his prime. Well with McCoy I saw him every step of the way and it has been a privilege to do so. He retired at the top, in one piece and on his own terms.

Saturday at Sandown showed what the public think of McCoy and it was heart warming. The iron man himself was clearly moved. It also showed that racing is still alive and well in the UK.

AP can enjoy his life with his family and his friends, he will do a lot less miles on a daily basis and he can have a normal family life, he has earned everything he has and rather than be sad we should be happy for him. A truly remarkable jockey.

Racing will go on and a new champion crowned, but we will miss McCoy but we will no doubt see him on our TV screens. He would make a rare type of pundit, one whose opinion you actually respected!

If AP wants a new career, he should become a motivational speaker, his determination, single mindedness and drive is unparalleled, not just by any jockey I have ever seen, but by any sportsman. His dedication and strength of character is akin to that of Margaret Thatcher, who politics aside was so single minded, dedicated and driven. It is a trait that few people have ever displayed. If only you could bottle it!

Well it’s back to the racing, in the new post McCoy era which starts today!

Jim McGrath summed it up in one Tweet:



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