Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 26th 2015 Contents pily have accepted being second best.
"It s a sad day," the 37-year-old John-
son said. "He s been one of my best
friends for a long time. It s great to ride
a winner but it s an amazing day for
him, he s the one we should look at."
The king of jump racing went
into retirement with the accla-
mation of the royal family.
"To win 20 championships
is an exceptional achievement,
perhaps unmatched in any other
sporting discipline, and he has
done it in a tough, exhilarating
and often dangerous sport,"
Princess Anne, the daughter
of Queen Elizabeth II, said in
the Racing Post newspaper.
McCoy has already
received two lesser royal
honors and a knighthood is
surely next. When McCoy
posed with his champion trophy,
a banner appeared behind him in the
parade ring: "Your majesty, please Sir
Few in sport have enjoyed such sus-
tained supremacy over two decades.
McCoy has won every big British race
at least once, including the Grand
National in 2010 on his 15th attempt,
and rewritten virtually every record in
"All records get broken, I hope I m
dead," McCoy quipped.
But amid the witty asides, McCoy
paused to reflect on those jockeys who
have been fatally or seriously injured
chasing their dreams.
McCoy s own body was battered in
the pursuit of glory. Most of his teeth
are chipped or are replacements. He has
suffered punctured lungs. He has broken
his leg, ankle, thumb, lower and middle
vertebrae, ribs, wrist, arm, shoulder
blades, collarbones and cheekbones.
However much of a wrench McCoy
finds retirement, from today he can
savour the memories of a career that
produced winners from March 1992 at
Thurles in Ireland until this month at
Ayr in Scotland. (AP)
April 26, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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ESTHER---Surrounded by an
18,000-capacity crowd at
Sandown Park racecourse, Tony
McCoy pulled down his goggles
to mask the tears.
Realizing this was finally the end
of a glittering career, this fiercest
of competitors --- the most suc-
cessful jump jockey in British racing
history --- was overwhelmed by the
emotion of his last-ever race.
McCoy wanted to go out on a
high, still a champion. He did just
that yesterday by collecting the
champion jockey trophy for a 20th
consecutive year to take home for
The fairytale ending would have
seen his record of 4,348 jumps win-
ners extended, but a pair of third
places for McCoy did nothing to
lessen the celebratory atmosphere.
Saturday s winners had to take a
back-seat as the sport s ultimate
champion was acclaimed for one
There was even an AP McCoy
Celebration Chase, although the
man himself---on board Mr Mole---
couldn t catch winner Special Tiara
or Sprinter Sacre.
In the final ride of his illustrious
career in the Handicap Hurdle,
McCoy summoned every last ounce
of resolve but there was no Hol-
lywood ending on 5-2 favorite Box
Office. However much McCoy
pushed, Brother Tedd and Gran
Maestro were just too far out in
"There were tears coming back
on Box Office but I pulled my gog-
gles down so nobody would notice,"
said the usually unflappable McCoy,
who is popularly known as AP.
"The reception I had and the
noise, it was never difficult not to
The eyes around Sandown were
trained all day on the 40-year-old
Northern Irishman wearing the
customary green and yellow silks
of retained owner JP McManus. He
spent the hours before his final two
races seeming to meet every request
for selfies and autographs from fans
as he was mobbed around the
"We have a very lucky and priv-
ileged way of life," McCoy later
explained, in a cautionary message
to stars from across the sporting
Such is McCoy s fame that the
former England and Arsenal soccer
player Ian Wright handed over the
champion trophy in the sun-kissed
parade ring as racegoers sang "For
he s a jolly good fellow".
And always a champion. Since
McCoy s first season as a profes-
sional in 1996, he has won the
champion jockey title every year in
Britain. Now there will be a vacan-
cy.It was apt that McCoy s great
rival Richard Johnson, who has con-
tinuously finished runner-up in the
annual rankings, won that final race
on Brother Tedd.
"In every sport you need some-
one to drive you to the end," McCoy
But for once Johnson would hap-
McCoy denied victories in final races of career
Jockey Tony McCoy parades Box Office
in front of the grandstand following
the last race of his career, at Sandown
Park racecourse, London, yesterday.
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