Tony McCoy was looking forward to a “satisfying call” to Martin Pipe on Saturday night after setting a new personal best aboard It’s A Gimme in the Betfred Summer Plate to pass the career total of 4,191 winners recorded by his old ally.
McCoy had equalled the mark with the appropriately-named On The Record at Uttoxeter on Wednesday, and went one better as the Jonjo O’Neill-trained 2-1 market leader It’s A Gimme claimed the feature event of the day at Market Rasen.
The perennial champion jockey cut a confident figure throughout the two-and-three-quarter-mile Listed event and slowly eased his mount into contention heading down the back straight.
The seven-year-old looked likely to run away with the prize as he tracked the leaders into the home turn, but stable companion Lost Legend, ridden by Richie McLernon, gave McCoy and favourite-backers a real fright.
There was little to chose between the O’Neill pair jumping the final fence, but in trademark fashion McCoy lifted It’s A Gimme home to triumph by a length and three-quarters. Mazuri Cowboy was third.
A mud-splattered McCoy walked back to the weighing-room while It’s A Gimme received treatment for exhaustion.
He said: “The horse is OK. He’s just tired. He’ll be all right.”
McCoy said: “I was lucky Jonjo had a few in the race and put me on this one. This is a willing little horse, who kept finding for me.
“The record was just a very personal thing between me and Mr Pipe. He set the standard and revolutionised training. He is someone I held in high esteem and we had great times together in my time as his stable jockey.
“We’ve had a bit of banter pretty much since I’ve ridden my 4,000 winner.
“It’s only a personal thing and I will be putting in a satisfying call tonight.”
McCoy was presented with a 20kg Lincolnshire Poacher cheese by the racecourse management in honour of his achievement.
Pipe said: “He’s an inspiration to all the jockeys and to everyone in racing.
“He’s marvellous for our sport and it’s just great we’ve got someone like him.
“Now, he’s finally beaten me. All of us in racing are so proud of him for doing it.”
O’Neill said: “He rode a fantastic race. I thought he was beat going down to the last, but it was a typical AP ride and he got there.
“It’s great to be involved in this sport and AP is a great ambassador.
“It’s A Gimme was just exhausted. It’s a very hot day and he gave every last ounce in that race.
“We know what the problem is and he’ll be OK.
“When I was riding you would never have dreamt someone could have done what AP has done. You’d have said thinking about 4,000 winners would be lunacy.
“I rode some 900 winners and then gave up. I got the money and got out!
“I know there is more racing now and everything is better, but you wouldn’t think it possible.
“We won’t see anything like him again, certainly no jump jockey.”
McCoy soon made it win number 4,193 when scoring on Parlour Games for John Ferguson in the B Eyre & Son Ltd Ford Novices’ Hurdle.