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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Pure gold: McCoy's double delights Easter punters at a sunny Fairyhouse

5 April 2015; Jockey Tony McCoy after Gilgamboa won the Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Steeplechase. Fairyhouse Easter Festival, Fairyhouse, Co. Meath. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFIL
5 April 2015; Jockey Tony McCoy after Gilgamboa won the Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Steeplechase. Fairyhouse Easter Festival, Fairyhouse, Co. Meath. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFIL
Enjoying the races at Fairyhouse which featured the €100,000 Ryanair Gold Cup was Lisa Murphy. Pic by Brian Purcell
Enjoying the Easter Festival of Racing at Fairyhouse were from left to right Eavan Molloy from Kilkenny, Elaine Hall from Tipperary, Linda Dunne from Kilkenny and Cliona Walsh from Tipperary. Pic by Brian Purcell
5 April 2015; Kelly O'Neill and Jessy O'Neill, right, from Kilkenny, before the start of today's racing. Fairyhouse Easter Festival, Fairyhouse, Co. Meath. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE
5 April 2015; Tracey Crowe, left, and Ciara Byron, from Tipperary, before the start of today's racing. Fairyhouse Easter Festival, Fairyhouse, Co. Meath. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

THE name of only one man was on everyone's lips at Fairyhouse yesterday.

It was a case of double delight for jockey AP McCoy who was first past the post in two races watched by a delighted Easter attendance.

McCoy (40), due to retire in a few weeks, showed exactly why he is considered the world's greatest ever jump jockey as he romped to victory in the Ryanair Gold Cup on Gilgamboa and landed a winner with Sir Scorpion in the Gleesons Butchers Handicap Hurdle.

He was raucously cheered on by keen supporters, including Lisa Murphy. In one of her first social appearances since splitting from solicitor Gerald Kean, the former Dublin Wives star checked out the track with three friends.

"I would be a big fan of JP McManus and John Magner's horses - obviously the Irish guys," she said. "I'm not a huge gambler but you certainly have to at the races.

"It's pretty exciting to see AP McCoy on one of his last races as well. We're all very happy."

Asked if she had spotted any guys that she liked the look of, Murphy simply sighed and said "no".

RTE rugby pundit Brent Pope said he decided to take a break from gardening for a chance to see one of McCoy's final races.

"I have not been here before. I've been to all the other race meetings, so me and a few of the guys decided to come down for the day," he said.

ambassador

"I came specifically to see McCoy - it's one of his last races. It's great to see him. He's been a great ambassador for the sport.

"My mother is a horse breeder in New Zealand so I try to get to as many meetings as I can."

McCoy himself said punters had to accept his "end is near".

"I'll be tempted every day I see horses I could ride. I would have liked to have ridden in Punchestown but I'll be champion jockey in England and this should be my 20th year," he said.

"If you ride at Punchestown there's a temptation to ride in Galway and never give up. I'm going to miss out on a lot over the next number of years.

"Being a proud Irish fella, I would have liked to have ridden at Fairyhouse more."

Today is the main event for fashion as the best-dressed season kicks off on Ladies' Day with model and DJ Vogue Williams searching for stand-out ensembles.

hnews@herald.ie

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