Racing Post: live blog

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

  • You'll never guess who I had in the back of my cab the other day . . . 

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  • More of your tributes

    I am still shell shocked by the news of AP's retirement and can't really quite believe it. Future generations will find it hard to believe what he achieved because it will never happen again. This generation of racing fans have seen someone really special and it has been a privilege.Tim Pinneyat 11:32 PM yesterday

    wish my football team had 11 tony mc coys,the drive,the hunger,amazing riding ability and will to win.he has the all round package and we will never see the like again.good luck in your retirement,well earned and deserved.Michaelat 9:57 PM yesterday

    Always been great to watch and love watching him ride, winning races that no one else was capable of!

    However my abiding memory is of him stopping to sign my nine year old son's race card on a cold wet damp January afternoon at Ludlow, with a smile on his face.

    My son, 22 now, hero worshipped him from then on and was as speechless as me watching channel 4 this afternoon!

    All best wishes to him for the future, I am sure he will be a success!Stephen Kempat 8:38 PM yesterday

    Simply the best!!! A few more winners before the season finishes please AP.....they'll need to build another new grandstand at Cheltenham after a McCoy festival win brings the house down!Grahamat 8:43 PM yesterday

    The personification of drive and determination. And a class act as a human being. Jump racing will be poorer for his absence.Mary Pittat 8:27 PM yesterday

    Absolute legend and inspiration followed his whole career amazing jockey good luck in the future apjay bennettat 8:37 PM yesterday

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  • That's it for our live blog. Our coverage continues on the iPad, where we have a special photo gallery of the 19-time champion jockey's career highlights, and in the paper, where Alastair Down leads five pages of McCoy coverage.

    I will leave you with this image, has
    a photo has ever captured McCoy so perfectly?

    A study in determination and desire, McCoy's sheer will to win made him unique

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  • More tributes pour in from weighing room colleagues.

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  • McCoy's magic moments

    Tony McCoy rode the 4,000th winner of his career in front of a packed Towcester crowd

    3. 4,000th victory on Mountain Tunes
    Towcester, November 7, 2013
    WHEN McCoy rode his 1,875th winner he passed Richard Dunwoody and had already ridden more winners than any other jump jockey in history. Fast forward another 2,125 successes and McCoy the record-breaker returned to the winner’s enclosure for the 4,000th time at Towcester on Mountain Tunes.

    Before achieving the milestone McCoy said: “When it’s 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’m proud of any landmark, as I can assure everyone it has been a physical and mental fight along the way.”
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  • McCoy's magic moments

    Synchronised's Gold Cup win in 2012 was the second of Tony McCoy's career

    2. His second Gold Cup win on Synchronised
    Cheltenham, March 16, 2012
    HE HAD done it once before, on Mr Mulligan in 1997, but winning the 2012 Gold Cup for his boss JP McManus meant even more to McCoy because of what it meant as a first victory in the blue riband event for his boss and friend.

    It was a typically rousing performance from McCoy in the saddle, lifting his mount home.
    He said: “It’s great for Jonjo and JP, he was off the bridle the whole way and missed the third-last, but luckily he was close enough and he’s an amazing horse. It’s a brilliant training performance.
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  • McCoy's magic moments

    Possibly the most iconic image of Tony McCoy's career

    1. Grand National win on Don’t Push It
    Aintree, April 10, 2010
    IT TOOK a while, 15 years to be exact, but on April 10, 2010 Tony McCoy finally won the Grand National on Don’t Push It. In the famous green and gold silks he has adorned, McCoy crossed the line in front, stood up in his irons, gave a fist pump, his whip waving, and bellowed in joy to create the most iconic image of his career.

    McCoy was reduced to tears and said: “I’m being a big wuss.
    It means everything to me to win the Grand National. I’ve won lots of big races and I’m supposed to be a good jockey, but to not win the Grand National would be a bit of a negative on the CV.
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  • A pleasure to have worked with you while riding horses for my father jeff,watching racing without you in them won't be quite the same. Enjoy retirement & valuable family time all the best for the future.David kingat 6:59 PM

    A P should be knighted. He's an absolute legend.Andyat 7:19 PM

    The best ride A P ever gave a horse was Pridwell at Aintree when he overturned Istabraq.Lenat 7:22 PM

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  • Alastair Down has just filed a spellbinding piece on Tony McCoy's shock announcement. Here is a small taster of the great man, on the greatest...

    Of course we  will miss him wreaking his mad magic on a daily basis as from gaff track to festival fleshpot he boots home the good, simply ordinary or plain unwilling. He has always been great at changing the mind of the ones who don’t fancy it.

    But we will regret more than the professional passing of a jockey.
    For all the congregation who form the magnificently broad church of jumping, McCoy has has become part of life’s furniture  – not some vacuous celebrity – but that epochal rarity a genuine sporting hero.

    Read the rest of Alastair's fantastic column, and indeed all our coverage of McCoy's decision, in tomorrow's Racing Post.

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  • 'What a day'

    Channel 4's Rishi Persad was the man with the microphone who got McCoy's bombshell announcement. Here's what the broadcaster made of it: "I had no idea whatsoever - even after he said it I couldn't believe it. I still can't believe it. 

    "I was lucky enough to be the first to speak to him after his National win, which was a very emotional moment too. 

    "But to hear the news as a racing fan myself, in my head I was saying something I couldn't say on camera, but the producer was in my ear saying 'keep going!'

    "What a day."
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  • McCoy's major winners

    Grand National winner
    Don't Push It (2010)
    Cheltenham Gold Cup winners
    Mr Mulligan (1997), Synchronised (2012)
    Champion Hurdle winners Make A Stand (1997), Brave Inca (2006), Binocular (2010)
    Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Edredon Bleu (2000)
    Triple Cheltenham Festival winner Albertas Run (2008 Royal &
    SunAlliance Chase, 2010 & 2011 Ryanair Chase)
    Other Cheltenham Festival winners Kibreet (1996 Grand Annual Chase), Or Royal (1997 Arkle Chase),
    Champleve (1998
    Arkle Chase), Unsinkable Boxer (1998 Gold Card Hurdle Final), Edredon Bleu (1998 Grand Annual Chase), Cyfor Malta (1998 Cathcart Chase), Blowing Wind (1998 County Hurdle), Hors La Loi (1999 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle), Majadou (1999 Mildmay of Flete Chase), Royal Auclair (2002 Cathcart Chase), Liberman (2003 Champion Bumper),
    Well Chief (2004 Arkle
    Chase), Reveillez (2006 Jewson Novices’ Chase), Black Jack Ketchum (2006 Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle), Wichita Lineman (2007 Brit Insurance Novices’ Hurdle, 2009 William Hill Trophy Chase), Noble Prince (2011 Jewson Novices' Hurdle), Alderwood (2012 County Hurdle, 2013 Grand Annual
    Chase), At Fishers Cross (2013 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle), Taquin Du Seuil (2014 JLT Novices' Chase)
    King George VI Chase winner Best Mate (2002)
    Tingle Creek Chase winner Master Minded (2008)
    Welsh National winner Synchronised (2011)
    Scottish Grand National winner Belmont King (1997)
    Irish Grand National winner Butler's Cabin (2007)
    Lexus Chase winners Exotic Dancer (2008), Synchronised (2011)
    Irish Champion Hurdle winner (Punchestown) Brave Inca (2005)
    Irish Champion Hurdle winner (Leopardstown) Brave Inca (2006)
    Aintree Hurdle winner Pridwell (1998)
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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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  • The tributes continue to flow. Philip Hobbs said: "Not many jockeys ride for 20 seasons, let alone are champion for 20 seasons, and on top of that, he's a great ambassador for the sport."

    While John Ferguson, trainer of Qewy who gave McCoy his 199th winner of the season at Newbury today, added: "He's not only the greatest jockey, he's one of the greatest human beings. Whatever he does in the future he's sure to be a huge success. He's one of the most humble champions ever, and a pleasure to deal with. This season has been a complete joy."
    Tony McCoy approaching the last on winner Qewy

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  • Tributes pour in 

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  • Tony McCoy's wife Chanelle said: “Hopefully he will go out on a high and we can get him out in one piece. Hopefully he'll finish his career as 20-times champion jockey.

    "It's a decision he has battled with very much.
    He decided this two weeks ago but he's had some good days and some bad days dealing with the decision. It's been a big decision and hopefully he will live with the consequences.

    "I never pushed him into the decision, he will have to live with the decision.
    It's business as usual until the end of the season. He's as driven as ever and that's something he will never lose.
    Tony McCoy with his wife Chanelle, daughter Eve and son Archie

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  • Former jockey and Sire De Grugy's trainer Gary Moore said: "He's taken jumps racing to another level. I was lucky enough to ride against John Francome, who was the greatest, and then you had Richard Dunwoody, but what McCoy has done has been unbelievable."
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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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  • McCoy explained his decision to announce his retirement in an emotional Channel 4 interview:

    “I'm very lucky to have had a life in horse racing over the last 25 years. I wanted to retire as a champion and 20 would be a nice number to finish at. 

    "I spoke to JP [McManus], my agent and we decided it was the right thing to do and that to announce it when I ride 200 winners would be a good time.

    “Any decision I've ever made in my life have always been my own. The best decision I've ever made in my life was to become a jockey. I love riding. I love the thrill of it and I will miss it.

    “Mum and Dad had no idea but this is what they would have wanted, they would have liked me to go out on top.”
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  • McCoy retires: Your Say
    Get in touch with your tributes to the Champ via the comments box above. 

    Here's some of what's being said on Twitter. McCoy is, not surprisingly, the top UK trending topic.

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  • McCoy fell at the first in the following race, however

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  • Tony McCoy winning on Mr Mole immediately before his shock announcement

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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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