AP McCoy has revealed it is extremely doubtful he will hang up his saddle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The 19-times champion wants the chance to win a second Grand National, in which he is set to partner ante-post favourite Shutthefrontdoor, before he retires.
Speaking at a special press conference at Oaksey House in Lambourn before being in action at Newbury, McCoy virtually ruled out ending his career after riding Carlingford Lough in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
“It’s very, very unlikely I will retire in the Gold Cup, I want to ride in the Grand National,” he said.
McCoy admitted it would only be right for his old adversary Richard Johnson to take over his crown.
Johnson has finished runner-up to McCoy 15 times and is the second winning-most jumps jockey in history.
Yet he has never lifted the title and is likely to take the bridesmaid spot for a 16th time this season.
“I would like Richard Johnson to be champion jockey. I wouldn’t have achieved the numbers without him,” said McCoy.
McCoy rates reigning Stan James Champion Hurdle hero Jezki as his best chance of riding a winner at his final Festival.
He said: “The horse I’m most looking forward to riding at the Festival is Jezki. I think he has got the best chance of winning.
“I know Faugheen is the one that they are all talking about, but there’s no form like Champion Hurdle form.
“If you look back over the last 20 years to horses that have previously run in the race, a good few of them have won.”
McCoy is similarly keen on the claims of Irish Hennessy winner Carlingford Lough in the Gold Cup.
“Carlingford Lough is an improving horse and the form of his Irish Hennessy win is very good,” said McCoy.
“I don’t think there is a lot between the Irish horses — Road to Riches, On His Own and Lord Windermere — but the fact Carlingford Lough won the Irish Hennessy gives him a good chance.
“By the form, though, Silviniaco Conti is the one they all have to beat as he has achieved the most.”