• Horse Racing

McCoy seals landmark 4,000th win

ESPN staff
November 7, 2013
AP McCoy smiles as he crosses the line on Mountain Tunes for his 4000th career win © Getty Images

AP McCoy further established himself as the most decorated jump jockey in Britain after claiming a historic milestone 4,000th career win on Mountain Tunes at Towcester.

McCoy was still in touch over the last fence on Jonjo O'Neills mount and produced a thrilling finish in the final furlong to clinch victory from Kris Spin by half-a-length. Fittingly, McCoy smiled as he crossed the line, sporting the colours of JP McManus - who celebrated by offering to buy every spectator at the course a drink.

On Tuesday, McCoy missed out on the opportunity to seal the landmark in fairytale style at Exeter racecourse. It would have proved to be a fitting venue as the scene of the Northern Irishman's first ever winner in England - finishing first on Chickabiddy for Gordon Edwards in September 1994.

McCoy has been crowned champion jockey for 18 consecutive years since turning professional in the 1994/95 season, while the 39-year-old is streets ahead of his nearest rival in the all-time jump jockey winners' standings; Richard Johnson is the closest challenger with over 2,500 career wins to his name.

His finest ever ride?

  • After recently admitting a fear of failure helped spur him on to 18 consecutive champion jockey titles and, now, 4,000 career winners, AP McCoy continues to epitomise how greatness does not come through ease. The fear, however, is merely the tip of McCoy's iceberg.
  • In truth, McCoy has ridden through the pain barrier on too many occasions to mention - and those are just the incidents we know about. Broken collar bones, wrists, vertebrae and ankles; if McCoy thinks he is fit enough to ride, he will ride regardless.
  • Fitting, then, that arguably his greatest ever victory came on a horse that personified his never-say-die attitude. In the closing stages of the 2009 William Hill Trophy Handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival, McCoy went to work on 5/1 favourite Wichita Lineman some 15 lengths off the pace. They snatched victory on the line by the slimmest of margins.
  • That day, like his entire career, he worked until the bitter end. Which is why, even at 39 years old, there will be no stopping AP McCoy.

During his esteemed career, McCoy has twice won the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup; most recently wearing the famous green and gold colours of owner JP McManus as he steered Synchronised to victory for trainer Jonjo O'Neill in 2012.

Other notable successes in his list of many major race wins include the King George VI chase, two Bet365 Gold Cups, the Tingle Creek Chase and four Paddy Power Gold Cups.

The jockey has surpassed the 200 winners mark in seven of his 18 championship winning seasons, while his haul of 289 race wins in 2001/02 set a new British record for most winners ridden in a season - passing Sir Gordon Richards' previous total of 269, set in 1947.

McCoy finally secured Grand National triumph after steering Don't Push It to victory at Aintree in 2010 - at his 15th attempt in British horse racing's most famous race.

He has also won the Welsh Grand National, Irish Grand National, Scottish Grand National and the Midlands Grand National.

In 2010, McCoy was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year and was also appointed OBE for his services to horseracing.

He recently indicated he has no plans to retire as he aims to surpass Martin Pipe's (trainer) record of 4,182 career wins and claim a 20th British Jump Jockey championship title.

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