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Sunday 4 December 2016

Tony McCoy: I had to go out as a champion

Tony McCoy
Tony McCoy

Tony McCoy feels if he had not been champion jockey throughout his career as a professional he could have wound down his time in the saddle gradually, rather than having to quit at the top.

Since landing the conditional jockeys' title in 1994-95 when mentored by Toby Balding, McCoy has been champion jockey ever since.

However, such dominance comes with pressure and rather than easing off the gas a little, McCoy is going out as the best in the business.

Speaking to RTE Sport, he said: "In some ways there's been times recently when I wished I hadn't been champion jockey because I do think I could have kept on riding a little bit longer.

"I do think I could've got away with riding four or five days a week but the reality is if you want to be champion jockey it's a full-time occupation, it's every day, and that's always been my way of life. It's something I could never change."

The Easter weekend sees McCoy in possibly his last visit to Ireland as a jockey at the Fairyhouse Grand National meeting and while he is unsure of his mount just yet, he is anticipating a good send off.

"I'm looking forward to it. Fairyhouse is a great track. I've been lucky enough to have good success there in the past and lucky enough to win the Irish National on Butler's Cabin," he said.

"Obviously the National is one of the highlights on the Irish jumping calendar. It'd be nice to win it.

"I'm not actually sure what I'm going to be riding in the race. JP McManus has got few in it - If In Doubt, Call It What You Will, Cantlow - so I really don't know what I'll be riding."

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