The gates are about to open here at Sandown and outside the turnstiles the first of the 18,000-sellout crowd has already arrived. It's a momentous raceday ahead, a rare chance to witness sporting history being made as the era of the greatest jumps champion of all-time comes to a close. But it's not just a big day for McCoy and his fans. This is a huge day too for Sandown and they have pulled out all the stops to make it a success. The hordes of staff have been receiving their security briefings and PR staff flit about passing on final instructions. It's not often - or ever - that Sandown finds itself the centre of Britain's sporting world and they're clearly determined to make it a successful day.
Some years ago Bradburne let it slip she was going to run her first London marathon and when AP asked whether she was going to win it she laughed and said: “No, of course not,” to which a baffled McCoy replied: “Then why are you doing it?” To AP, it has always been about winning and nothing else.
There has been no contact with Davy about the job. It’s a position he is honoured to be linked with but we don’t know where the rumours have come from as he hasn’t been in touch with anyone.
WHAT AP McCoy has achieved throughout his career is absolutely incredible and when you read through the seemingly endless list of winners and historic moments it is just extraordinary.I’m not really a follower of horseracing but to be able to continue in any sport for so long and consistently perform at such a high level every single year takes a massive amount of hard work, dedication and discipline.Being the only jump jockey ever to be voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year shows how much the public recognise AP as a very likeable and down-to-earth person. He is regarded as the ultimate professional within his sport and you can see why. I have no doubt he will continue to provide endless inspiration to the sporting world for years to come.Sir Chris Hoy (won in 2014)
Racegoers at Sandown can get their picture in those famous green and gold silks
Honestly, not really. I don’t think I ever felt I would be celebrating retiring. I feel probably more sadness than the feeling of celebration, but I’m aware it had to happen and I know it’s the right thing.
The affection for Tony McCoy on show at Sandown today is like nothing I've ever seen in racing. I've been talking to people as they came into the track and, whereas normally you would expect every weekend meeting to have a decent chunk of people there for the day out not the racing, everyone I spoke to has said they have come today to see McCoy's final rides.That speaks volumes about the champ's achievements and his popularity with the general public - several people have told me they cannot believe a man who has been at the top of his sport for two decades can be so unassuming and down to earth.We never saw the forecast plunge on McCoy's mount Shutthefrontdoor at Aintree, but given the AP fan club has assembled today I wonder if we might see a big gamble on McCoy's two mounts? One racegoer told me it would be "mayhem" if either wins and I daresay he's right.
Gridlock apparently, one colleague on their way has taken half an hour to get one mile nearer the course from the M25 A3 junction.
To me, he’s changed racing. As a jockey now starting out or those over the last ten to 15 years, they all look up to him. He’s set the standards a lot higher, he’s changed the way jockeys now are.Their PR approach is important because of him. People have learned so much from him and I hope they carry on learning because the experience he has got and what he has achieved shouldn’t be left on the shelf somewhere. Young people should be able to use that.AP put himself through the pain barrier so many times. I work with other jockeys and they’re also hungry to win but I think for a period of 21 years, to put yourself through the pain barrier, I haven’t got another jockey who has done that - apart from maybe Richard Johnson at 16 years. To do it for that length of time is unbelievable.They say every record can be broken, but for me, for somebody to break his record they’ll have to ride for 21 years injury free and ride 200 winners a year. In my lifetime, that’s not going to happen.The sport will miss him massively, so that’s why I’m hoping people won’t forget about him too quickly because there will never be another AP McCoy.
McCoy is 1,000-1 with Ladbrokes to be Arsenal’s next manager, but only 2-1 to be knighted and racegoers at Sandown are clearly keen on it
I suppose 'the Invincibles' back four had Ashley Cole in it who is sadly now more remembered as a Chelsea player. For that reason I'm going to go with Nigel, so I am. He was very reliable and solid and he played in one of the best back-fours that our club ever had.
He’s a great professional to work with, brilliant horseman, a great jockey – just a great all-rounder and ambassador for the sport.You name it, he’s done it. He knows all the horses, the form, how they should be ridden. If he has ridden them before then he’ll say if we should change tactics. He’s brilliant to work with and he knows the ground and the tracks. His experience is invaluable really.
We’ll never get the likes of him again. We had a couple of big moments, obviously the Grand National and the Gold Cup. His 4,000th winner, Mountain Tunes at Towcester, was fantastic. He got a kick out of that and it was an unbelievable achievement for a jump jockey. For me, he’s the greatest of all-time and always will be.
The next AP? Conditional jockeys' champion Sean Bowen with his prize at Sandown
I was five-years-old when Arsenal won the FA Cup in 1979. From that day on I saw Arsenal on TV and Liam was my hero, along with Pat Jennings and Frank Stapleton.In 1996 or 1997 I was heading to a box at Cheltenham and got stopped by someone and turned round and it was Liam Brady. I was speechless by the fact my hero had actually stopped me. Very few people get to meet their heroes let alone be friendly with him. I am very lucky.
ANYBODY who stays at the top of their game for as long as he has deserves a lot of respect and he’s always carried himself well. He’s a perfect role model for people coming through. He’s set new heights in terms of achievement in his sport.I go racing three or four times a year and I’ve met him on a few occasions. But it’s a measure of someone how people talk about you when you’re not there and lots of my colleagues know AP McCoy very well – and the people who see him day after day, both on the media side and within the sport, have nothing but respect for him.In 20 years as champion you’re there to be shot at and people get jealous and inevitably even the nicest people end up making some sort of enemies along the way. But he is one of the few people who, as far as I’m aware, nobody has a bad word to say about him.All top sportspeople have to get into some sort of daily routine to keep themselves in shape but he’s also got a really frenetic lifestyle with all the travelling so he’s got to be disciplined – he can’t have periods where he can let it go for a while. To have done it so well for so many years is a testament to his dedication.Steve Cram (won in 1983)
Often front-runs but didn´t want to set off at Newbury on penultimate start, seemingly performing something of a miracle therefore to take that Grade 2 by wide margin; set off okay when 13-2 in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham but well beaten; big form chance on the Newbury run and AP McCoy will be trying his utmost to record a win on his final day, but not so sure about Mr Mole.
Ready for action
The McCoy hullabaloo has a downside, the Celebration Chase is delayed