AP McCoy Profile
|Born||May 04, 1974|
McCoy rode a record 4,358 winners - including Don't Push It in the 2010 Grand National - and captured 20 National Hunt jockeys' titles.
Nicknamed 'Champ' for good reason, Sir Anthony Peter McCoy OBE is the greatest jumps jockey of all time, having ridden 4,358 winners.
Before retiring in 2015, McCoy won virtually every big event in National Hunt racing, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup twice, the Champion Hurdle three times and, after many attempts, the Grand National in 2010 aboard Don't Push it.
From 1995/96 to his retirement in 2015, AP McCoy won the British National Hunt jockeys' championship every year - 20 seasons in a row.
Ambitious McCoy pursues a career in the saddle
AP McCoy was keen on horses from a young age, going to local trainer Billy Rock's yard at the age of 10 with his father and gradually learning how to ride at speed.
A tremendously ambitious individual, McCoy left his family home in Moneyslane, County Antrim, at the age of 15 to pursue a career in the saddle.
The decision to leave home left McCoy a self-professed 'black sheep' to his mother Claire, with the jockey having some regret at branching out at such a tender age.
"There are times that I feel a bit guilty about what I put my mother through and particularly when she says that her biggest regret in life is letting me leave home at 15," McCoy told the Irish News.
Soon to become a jump racing star, McCoy actually started out as a Flat jockey, winning his first race at the age of 17 for Jim Bolger on Regal Steps at Thurles on March 26, 1992.
He suffered the first of his customary injuries, a broken leg, while riding for Bolger at his County Carlow stables. At just over 5ft 10in, McCoy was tall for a jockey and returned from his lay-off too heavy to make weight as a Flat rider.
This led to a tiff with Bolger as McCoy decided to chance his arm as a National Hunt jockey in England, with jump jockeys able to carry a little more weight.
"I heard you crying like a baby with a broken leg and jump jockeys get that every day of the week. You're not hard enough. You're not tough enough to be a jockey." McCoy told the Irish Times that this was Bolger's appraisal of his chances over fences.
But McCoy went to England and won his first race across the Irish Sea on Chickabiddy for Gordon Elliott at Exeter in 1994.
"I didn't know Gordon before I rode Chickabiddy and he didn't train that many horses, but the ones he did he was successful with, so I'll be forever grateful to him for giving me the ride," McCoy told BBC Sport.
McCoy was picked up by legendary trainer Toby Balding to be his conditional jockey and the young Northern Irishman won the conditional jockeys' title in 1995 with a record 74 wins in his first English season.
Martin Pipe takes McCoy's career to the next level
By winning the conditionals' title in such emphatic style, McCoy had shown he was a jockey on the up but one who needed a tie-in with a leading trainer to secure rides to take his career to the next level.
In stepped Devon champion trainer Martin Pipe, who saw McCoy as a good partner for his fit-as-fleas stable of jumps horses.
"Martin turned me into a robot but in the best possible way. I wouldn't have broken any of those records if it wasn't for him," McCoy told the Racing Post.
McCoy reached 100 winners on November 21, 1996, beating Peter Scudamore's record by 30 days. He won the first of his 20 National Hunt jockeys' titles by the end of 1995/96, amassing 175 wins that season.
In March 1997, Pipe sent Make A Stand to Cheltenham for the Champion Hurdle and entrusted McCoy with the ride. In the blue and yellow silks, a fresh-faced McCoy made all the running as 7/1 shot Make A Stand went on to win powerfully by five lengths. In the space of a few years, McCoy had gone from apprentice jockey with a broken leg to winning the connections of Make A Stand £124,138 in prize money.
The 1997/98 season was a stellar one with McCoy winning a record 253 races and setting a further record of five wins in a single Cheltenham Festival.
At the 1998 Festival, McCoy won on Champleve, Unsinkable Boxer, Cyfor Malta and Blowing Wind for Martin Pipe as well as Ebredon Bleu for Henrietta Knight, to cap a memorable five-timer.
Records continued to fall for McCoy under the stewardship of Pipe. In April 2002, McCoy broke Sir Gordon Richards' record for winners in a season of 269 by winning on Valfonic at Warwick.
Yet Richards was a Flat jockey and to finish the season on 289 wins over jumps was a staggering achievement for McCoy.
Although winning an Arkle at the 2004 Cheltenham Festival on Well Chief for Pipe, big-race winners were beginning to dwindle and the ever-ambitious McCoy had his eye on a new direction with the respected owner JP McManus.
Before he left for the new project, McCoy had beaten his idol Richard Dunwoody's record of 1,699 overall winners and then broken the 2,000 winners' mark, the spree of success down to the strong working relationship between Pipe and McCoy.
Leaving Pipe to join JP McManus
In April 2004, it was announced that McCoy was to leave Martin Pipe and become contracted jockey to the Irish racehorse owner JP McManus.
The move meant that as well as riding in the famous green and gold McManus colours, McCoy would effectively be stable jockey to Jonjo O'Neill.
"It's going to be a huge change in my life. 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 told the Daily Telegraph.
The link-up with McManus also gained McCoy the pick of his talent spread across various stables and the jockey struck up an immediate connection with the Francois Doumen-trained Baracouda.
McCoy rode the French-trained long-distance specialist Baracouda to win the Long Walk Hurdle at Windsor in December 2004.
McCoy got a tune from another classy McManus hurdler, Binocular, trained by Nicky Henderson. The pair took on the 2010 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and produced a strong finish to win by three and half lengths from Khyber Kim.
By 2010, the kind of horse was emerging that made McCoy's decision to leave Pipe for McManus a sensible one. Synchronised, bred by McManus' wife Noreen and trained by Jonjo O'Neill, won the 2010 Midlands Grand National and the 2011 Welsh National under McCoy before capping 2011 with a Lexus Chase victory at Leopardstown.
Synchronised and McCoy then headed to the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup with an outsider's chance, in a field containing the legendary Kauto Star and defending champion Long Run.
With Kauto Star pulling up, it seemed as if an easy win was on the cards for 7/4 favourite Long Run with the Racing UK commentator describing Synchronised as "wanting for pace" in sixth place approaching the run-in. But McCoy's supreme horsemanship and will to win turned a losing situation into a going-away win for Synchronised, who took the coveted Gold Cup.
It was apt that McCoy's 4,000th win as a jockey came aboard a McManus runner at the modest Towcester racecourse in November 2013. The humble but hardworking McCoy produced the former point-to-pointer to win by a half a length and collect the £3,119.04 prize.
"My daughter Eve is totally convinced that every time she sees the green and gold colours it's actually me and that they are my colours, but they are actually JP's colours, they are not actually Daddy's," said a grateful McCoy of McManus' help in reaching the 4,000-winners mark.
Both JP McManus and Jonjo O'Neill sat with McCoy for another important press conference, this time after his final race on April 25, 2015. McCoy couldn't pick up any winners on the day at Sandown but he did collect his 20th and final jockeys' title and retired with his head held high.
"It's the greatest man in the game," O'Neill told BBC Sport. "He's a true professional. What I can say will not justify how good he is. We'll never see his likes again."
Winning the Grand National
For all McCoy's success, the one big race that evaded him for many years was the Grand National. In fact, it took McCoy 15 attempts to win the marathon event at Aintree.
Prior to 2010, the closest McCoy had got was on Clan Royal in 2005, when he was cruelly thwarted by a loose horse when out in front.
McCoys craving to win the 'big one' was compounded by the fact that JP McManus and trainer Jonjo O'Neill had never won the Grand National either, making success in the National a stable-wide pursuit.
On an overcast day in April 2010, McCoy led Don't Push It out to take on the 40-runner field over four miles and four furlongs at the Liverpool track. McCoy produced a patient ride to have 10-year old Don't Push it in contention with Hello Bud, Big Fella Thanks and Black Apalachi in the final half-mile.
Dessie Hughes' Black Apalachi stayed on gamely in the run-in at Aintree but McCoy did what he did best and produced an extra burst of energy to deliver Don't Push it and finally claim the Grand National.
"I'm being a big wuss. It means everything to me to win the Grand National," an emotional McCoy told BBC Sport after the win.
A catalogue of injuries
An incredibly brave rider and something of a bionic man, McCoy suffered a catalogue of injuries in pursuit of wins, including a fractured tibia and fibia, a broken forearm and wrist, a fractured sternum, broken lower and middle vertebrae, both shoulder blades broken, a broken ankle, broken ribs, a punctured lung (twice), a cracked eye-socket and broken cheekbones. He has also broken every tooth in his mouth over the course of his career.
In fact, it may be quicker listing which bones he hasn't broken. That's dedication!
AP McCoy's personal life
AP McCoy's wife is called Chanelle and they have two children, Eve and Archie.
Chanelle McCoy is a successful businesswoman in her own right and has appeared on RTE's Dragon's Den as an investor.
Away from racing, McCoy is a keen football fan and supports Arsenal.
McCoy was awarded the MBE for services to racing in 2003.
In 2010, McCoy was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year, becoming the first jockey to win the award.
He was then awarded a Knighthood in 2015.
AP McCoy's net worth
The Richest lists AP McCoy's net worth at $30million.
AP McCoy News
- May 24, 2022
- Apr 05, 2021