Haydock sees last of the real McCoy

Racecourse general manager Jason Fildes with champion jockey AP McCoy after his last ride at Haydock Park before his retirement
Racecourse general manager Jason Fildes with champion jockey AP McCoy after his last ride at Haydock Park before his retirement
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Tony McCoy rode off into the sunset at Haydock Park with a special souvenir to mark his final appearance at the Lancashire track.

The soon to be champion jockey was presented with a framed photograph of Drill Sergeant, one of his 43 Haydock Park winners.

McCoy said: “I’ve enjoyed some super days at Haydock Park, winning the Tommy Whittle Chase on Legal Right, and the Betfair Hurdle on Binocular.

“I think my first winner was Pridwell for Martin Pipe in 1997.”

As usual McCoy was mobbed by well-wishers and autograph hunters as he headed back to the weighing room following Haydock’s penultimate race, named in his honour.

While McCoy was unable to mark his final appearance with a winner from his three rides, he added: “I’ve been smiling a lot and putting a bit of a face on but I’m enjoying it and in three weeks’ time nobody’s going to want my autograph.”

McCoy is on bookies’ favourite Shutthefrontdoor in the Crabbies Grand National next Saturday and has hinted that he will quit the saddle if he wins the world’s greatest steeplechase for a second time at Aintree.

Haydock Park general manager Jason Fildes, who made the presentation, said: “AP McCoy’s retirement will mark the end of an era, and to be crowned champion jockey for the 20th time later this month will be a remarkable achievement. He is an extraordinary jockey and has proved a wonderful ambassador for racing.

“To have that drive, that incredible will to win for two decades, and then to suffer the injuries he has endured, he really is an ironman – one of Britain’s greatest sportsmen.”

Haydock Park will stage their next meeting on Saturday, April 25, the GPW Recruitment Raceday.