McCoy joy after Irishman rides 4,000th winner

Thu Nov 7, 2013 11:10am EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - With a stirring finish that epitomized his iron will, strength and ability to galvanize a tired horse, Tony McCoy, the most successful jump jockey of all time, rode his 4,000th winner on Thursday, a milestone unlikely to be matched.

Champion jockey for the last 18 seasons, the 39-year-old Irishman broke into a broad smile after driving 6-4 favorite Mountain Tunes to a narrow victory at Towcester racecourse in the English shires.

Aptly, victory came for trainer Jonjo O'Neill and owner JP Mcmanus, with whom McCoy has enjoyed so much success in the Irishman's green and yellow striped colors.

"It's amazing, it couldn't have worked out any better for Jonjo, JP - the McManuses have been so good to me, it was always going to be hopefully that I was going to ride it in JP's colors," McCoy told At The Races television.

Surrounded by weighing-room colleagues, McCoy was showered with champagne and joined in the winners' enclosure by his wife Chanelle and two young children, with five-year-old daughter Eve afforded the day off school to witness his milestone.

McCoy's feat in reaching the 4,000 landmark can be put in perspective with Richard Johnson, the next most successful jump jockey, closing in on 2,600 winners.

Johnson was one of many to pay tribute to McCoy.

"What he's achieved has been amazing," he said. "He has completely rewritten what we thought was achievable in a season, and a career.

"He rarely makes mistakes - you would struggle to think of one. He is a machine who turns out winners."   Continued...

Jockey Tony McCoy riding Mr Mulligan jumps the last fence at Cheltenham race course March 13 . SPORT HORSERACING - RTR2EYG