Wednesday 19 September 2018

McCoy eyes up 5,000 winners

4,000 NOT OUT: Tony McCoy is pictured after riding Mountain Tunes to
glory - his 4,000th winner - at Towcester on Thursday.
4,000 NOT OUT: Tony McCoy is pictured after riding Mountain Tunes to glory - his 4,000th winner - at Towcester on Thursday.

Tony McCoy had to settle for second place on Forthefunofit at Southwell on his first ride since he brought up the magical 4,000 winners on Thursday.

The 18-times champion did not rest on his laurels after making jumping history on Mountain Tunes at Towcester, as he travelled to the Nottinghamshire track for just one mount.

Forthefunofit was sent off 2/1 favourite on his debut in the concluding 32Red.com Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, but found the experienced No No Romeo too strong in the closing stages.

The 9/4 second-favourite got first run on the JP McManus-owned and Jonjo O'Neill-trained market leader and stuck on well for Noel Fehily to win by three lengths for trainer Charlie Longsdon.

A modest but appreciative crowd made the visit to Southwell for the card that replaced Fontwell after the West Sussex track was waterlogged.

McCoy diligently signed lots of autographs and was applauded as he made his way to the parade ring for his only ride.


He has four booked rides at Wincanton today and will be in action at Navan tomorrow, before going back across the Irish Sea for business as usual on Monday.

The 18-times champion reflected on an eventful and hectic 24 hours that had seen him under the media spotlight before and after his landmark triumph.

From Towcester he had hosted a party for family and friends to celebrate the occasion at the Outside Chance pub in Marlborough, which he co-owns. "It's been an amazing 24 hours, what with the celebrations at Towcester, the celebrations at the pub and then hearing and reading all the messages of congratulations on the television, radio and in the papers. Hopefully it is all good for racing," he said.

"At the pub so many of the good people that have helped me in my career were there. Toby Balding for one. It was great to see him, particularly remembering he hasn't been in such good health for the past year or so.


"Martin Pipe drove up from the West Country. We had so many good days together. It was very nice of him to travel up and not forgetting the input David Johnson, who sadly isn't here any more, put in.

"I was bowled over at the level of reaction from my friends and contacts in other sports, especially football. There were messages from Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman. There were several tweets.

"I ride in Ireland on Sunday, but plan to come straight home. I have rides here on Monday and it's important to get on with what matters.

"Last night I was keeping an eye on my friends and then I was up at 7.30am. I read the reports and went on the radio and drove up here to a great welcome from the people at Southwell."

Looking to the future, he said: "In order to give yourself a chance of reaching 5,000 winners you would need so many things to go right.

"But the most important is having good horses to ride, because without good horses you won't ride winners and then you need all the luck in staying injury free. It's a massive ask, but you never know."

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