Cheltenham 2015: McCoy feels honoured over race
Tony McCoy believes it is a “privilege” to have a race named in his honour at what will be his last Cheltenham Festival before retirement.
The final race of the meeting will this year be run as the A P McCoy Grand Annual Handicap Chase for the Johnny Henderson Challenge Cup after the racecourse management decided to mark the departure of the 19-times champion jockey with a contest bearing his name.
The new title for 2015 has been made in agreement with the Henderson family and is for one year.
McCoy said: “I am honoured that Cheltenham has decided to have the last race of the Festival in my name.
“It is a privilege and I would also like to thank the Henderson family for sharing the title for this year. I am much looking forward to next week.”
The race will provide McCoy with one final chance of Festival success in a contest he has won three times before on Alderwood (2013), Edredon Bleu (1998) and Kibreet (1996), who was his first winner at the meeting.
Robert Waley-Cohen, chairman of Cheltenham, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to rename this year’s Grand Annual Handicap Chase after the champion jockey, especially as it will be his last race at the Festival.
“What he has achieved over the past 23 years, not just at the Festival, is phenomenal and to round off the Festival in his name seemed like a fitting tribute.”