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As it happened: Tony McCoy to retire at end of the season

Tributes, reaction and your comments as 19-times champion jockey Tony McCoy announces retirement plan

    More tributes pour in from weighing room colleagues.

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    A legend what an era for me to be a national hunt fan, surely a knighthood is likely, we must petition for this.Gary Keepat 6:22 PM

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    Phil Travers has got in touch with his thoughts, here's what he has to say on McCoy's retirement.

    Stunned - but so glad I have been around to witness the greatest jump jockey ever to look between the ears of a horse. Total legend. The complete horseman, and a gentleman to boot. No airs and graces, just a genuine man who loves his job. He will be sorely missed, but I wish him a long, happy retirement, and thank you A P for all the wonderful memories. Heres to a great Cheltenham !Phil Traversat 6:16 PM

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    Newbury racegoers share their thoughts 

    Matt Waghorn, Newbury
    "It's a bit of a shock, a real shock. He's been going a long time, and there were rumours might retire last season but he kept going. It was a real surprise today and a shame because he's a big abassador for the sport. He and Jonjo were always a good combo to watch for. "

    Angela Jordan, Liverpool
    "I'm absolutely devastated - I've followed him a long time and in one season I've lost Steven Gerrard and now AP - that's how to spoil a raceday! Synchronised and Wichita Lineman are standout performances. It would be great if he went on to become a pundit, and I'll definitely go to see his documentary."

    Noelle Supple, Towcester
    "We all knew it would happen eventually, but it's still a shock. It will be a very long time until we see another like him, if ever. I was there at Towcester when he won on Mountain Tunes and it was absolutely incredible - it's my local track and I've never seen it so packed. "

    Damian Cox and son Jack, 4
    "It was a big surprise, I though he'd go for another three or four more years. It's a big shame for racing because he's such a great role model, and a lot of people who aren't really into racing come to watch him. He'll be a big loss to the sport in general - no one will ever ride as many winners again. He's a one off, and great for kids, always stopping to sign autographs and give them his time."

    Damian Cox and son Jack, 4 

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    In his own words, the Champ reveals his top ten rides. What do you reckon? 

    AP McCoy's Top Ten Rides
    by TheAPMcCoy via YouTube

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    Mick Channon, writing on his website, has paid a lovely tribute to McCoy. Here's an excerpt:

    "I'll leave all the meaningful platitudes to the big guns in the game - they'd know him more than me - but one instance will always stick in my mind.

    "My mate Peter Taplin had a horse called Fitzwilly running in a juvenile hurdle at Newbury a couple of years ago and A.P rode him to finish third on his second run over sticks. 

    "He blew up three from home, but A.P came back in to unsaddle and started to tell us what he thought, where Fitzwilly should head next and advised us to keep going into the spring because he thought he'd be a really fun novice hurdler the next year.

    "This debrief seemed to go on forever! He was full of praise for a little horse who was never going to pull up any trees, but who enjoyed the game and had a future - albeit at a moderate level.

    "Now I know bull**** when it's in front of me, but A.P wasn't giving me or Pete that. He had the intelligence to suss out what me and Pete were in the game for with Fitzwilly - Pete loves his racing and just wants the best for his horses and some fun along the way. A.P tapped in to that."

    Read the rest of Channon's thoughts on his website.
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    McCoy's career landmarks

    1,000th win over jumps
    Heros Fatal, Cheltenham, November 14, 1999
    2,000th win over jumps Count Tony, Market Rasen, November 20, 2003
    3,000th win over jumps Restless D'Artaix, Plumpton, February 9, 2009
    4,000th win over jumps Mountain Tunes, Towcester, November 7, 2013

    Before riding his 4,000th winner McCoy said: "When it is done it will be as much a relief as an achievement, and it will be the first time in my life that I can honestly say I am proud of any landmark as I can assure everyone it has been a physical and mental fight along the way."

    Tony McCoy is showered in champagne after riding his 4,000th winner

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    McCoy's firsts

    Billy Rock 1987-89, Jim Bolger 1989-94, Toby Balding 1994-95
    First ride Nordic Touch, 7th on Flat at Phoenix Park, September 1, 1990
    First winner Legal Steps on Flat at Thurles, March 26, 1992
    First ride over jumps Riszard, brought down over hurdles at
    Leopardstown, March 17, 1994
    First of 4,000 winners over jumps Riszard, over hurdles at Gowran Park, April 20, 1994
    First ride over fences No Sir Rom, fell, Galway, July 30, 1994
    First ride in Britain Arctic Life, 2nd over hurdles at Stratford,
    August 13, 1994
    First winner in Britain Chickabiddy over hurdles at Exeter, September 7, 1994
    First winner over fences Bonus Boy, Newton Abbot, October 4, 1994
    First big winner Brave Tornado (1995 Finesse 4-Y-O Hurdle)
    First winner for Martin Pipe Crosula, Hereford, June 1, 1995
    First winner for the Queen Barbers Shop, Newbury, April 12, 2008
    First Grade 1 winner Viking Flagship (1996 Melling Chase)

    Bet you didn't realise it took McCoy until 2008 to ride a winner for the Queen!
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    Here's Richard Johnson, McCoy's great rival for the jockeys' championship: "He's dominated our sport and it is a shock, but it will be an even bigger shock after the last day of the season at Sandown. He has been an amazing and his memories will go on for a long time. I'm sure we'll still see him around and he won't disappear off the face of the earth."

    Johnson is now 4-7 to win the 2015/16 jockeys' championship. Sam Twiston-Davies is 7-2, Tom Scudamore 11-2 and Jason Maguire 7-1.
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    SPOTY once more?
    McCoy's decision to retire has shaken up the BBC Sports Personality of the Year market. He's now 4-1 favourite with Coral to win the gong for a second time this year. 

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    We've received a statement from the Champ. Here are his words in full:

    This is without a doubt, the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I’ve been dreading this day, and if I’m honest, I still can’t quite imagine a life without racing. However, I know it’s the right time to end a career I’ve loved, every single day. Even when I’ve fallen and been injured, I’ve been desperate to get back and achieve my goals, achieve the dream I realised when I was a boy but I’m now ready to retire. I want to finish my career as Champion Jockey, and I want to finish on a win. I don’t know when that will be exactly, but 20 Championship titles is a nice even number. But, I’m not done just yet – I’ve got the Cheltenham Festival to focus on now and I’ll take it from there.  There have been a lot of people who have helped me throughout my whole career who I want to thank. I will be forever indebted to them, they have helped make all my dreams come true.

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    The words that stunned a sport: "I want to go while I'm still enjoying racing and while I am still near the top."
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    Tony McCoy to retire at the end of the season
    The 19-time champion jockey shocked racing on Saturday when he announced, live on Channel 4 Racing, that he plans to retire at the end of the season.

    In a glittering career McCoy has won virtually every major race, been crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and become so synonymous with success his nickname is simply 'the Champ'.

    Stay with us over the next few hours as we bring you all the reaction to this stunning news and recap the career of the most successful jumps jockey of all-time.
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