A motion tabled in the UK's House of Commons has stated Tony McCoy is a “great ambassador” for racing after he notched up his 4,000th career win over jumps aboard Mountain Tunes at Towcester yesterday.
Tony celebrates his 4000th win yesterday at Towcester.
It read: “That this House congratulates the jockey AP (Tony) McCoy on riding his 4,000th National Hunt winner in Britain and Ireland; notes that he is the most successful jumps jockey of all time, leading his rivals by a considerable margin.
“Further notes that he has been the champion jumps jockey in every season since 1995-96; recognises him as a great ambassador for the sport of horse racing; pays tribute to him for being one of the country’s greatest sportsmen; and wishes him well in his future riding and racing career.”
McCoy accepts retirement from the saddle is not even a consideration while he is still loving the cut and thrust of racing.
The 18-times champion jockey, 39, admits to having finally achieved contentment in his career, but says retirement is not yet on his radar.
He told the Telegraph: “There are any amount of people around who don’t think I’m the best jockey, but I’ve got to a stage now that I’m happy with what I’ve done – at last.
“I could never have ridden 4,000 winners without loving my job and If I ever get to the point where I’m not loving it, I’ll stop.
“But, at this rate, someone might have to tell me when to stop.
“I hope I’ll be sensible enough to quit on my own terms, but my biggest problem is that I enjoy it too much.
“If I was ever granted one wish it would be to come back as another person and be able to start this all over again.
“Essentially I am a dreamer. I’ve dreamed all my life. When I started I dreamed I’d be champion because it is a sport that is all about the people who win the most and I have a fear of not winning.”
Tony: I feel like I’m one of the lads in the weighing room.
That the Northern Irishman achieved the magic milestone aboard Mountain Tunes heightened McCoy’s sense of satisfaction.
The four-year-old gelding is trained by regular ally Jonjo O’Neill and competes in the green and gold silks of JP McManus, to whom McCoy has been retained for the last nine years.
He said: “I’m always relieved to win and this race might not have been the biggest, richest or best I’ve ever won, but it was fantastic how it happened - riding a horse in the gold and green silks of JP that is trained by Jonjo O’Neill.
“Doing that means as much to me as the actual number and, not that you can stage-manage these things, I was determined that it was the way it should happen.”
Despite having achieved more than any jumps jockey in the history of racing, McCoy insists there is always room for improvement in such a competitive environment.
He said: “Someone was saying I was also the most experienced jumps jockey ever because I’ve had the most rides.
“But never a day go past when I don’t learn something new and the person who reckons any different is wrong.
“There is no place for arrogance or complacency in racing because you are up there one minute and on your backside the next.
“I feel like I’m one of the lads in the weighing room and, I hope, they feel the same about me.
“It’s a tough game and longevity needs a lot of luck.
“You need targets in life and, luckily, I have a few left.”
McCoy also paid tribute to weighing-room colleague Richard Johnson, who has ridden more jumps winners than anyone other than the perennial champion jockey.
Tony on his way to his record-breaking win yesterday.
He told talkSPORT: “One of the things when I came home last night I thought about was that there were a couple of people I didn’t mention enough.
“One was Martin Pipe and the late David Johnson, who I rode a lot of winners for, but Richard Johnson is the most amazing bloke.
“He’s ridden 2,500 winners or thereabouts and I owe a lot of my success to him as he’s kept me honest and working hard for the last 18 or 19 years.
“He’s a fantastic lad and he would never let you slack, he’d make sure you worked hard every day.”
McCoy feels his sanity may be called into question if he attempts to strive for a jaw-dropping 5,000 winners over jumps.
He said: “I’m going to be 40 in May and there are not actually many jumps jockeys still around at 40 so if I was to try and reach 5,000 winners it would mean I’d have to be around until I was 45 and I’d be worried that people might think I’m not right in the head.
“I know they probably think that anyway, but I’d be more concerned they didn’t think I was mentally sane or stable.”