Racing: AP McCoy thrills fans with dream win on Doncaster return

Tony McCoy rides Gannicus to victory at Doncaster
Tony McCoy rides Gannicus to victory at Doncaster

Tony McCoy made a triumphant one-off return to the saddle with victory aboard Gannicus in the Clipper Logistics Leger Legends Classified Stakes at Doncaster.

The 20-times champion jump jockey, who retired in April, delighted his legion of supporters by producing a fairytale result.

McCoy had been persuaded by Jack Berry to take part in the straight-mile contest in aid of the Northern Racing College and the Injured Jockeys Fund’s Jack Berry House.

The legendary rider gave racing the best possible ending to the story as he steered Gannicus (7-2 favourite), trained by former jump jockey Brendan Powell, home in front.

McCoy had his mount tucked away in the early stages before making his move at halfway and taking the lead two furlongs out.

Having grabbed the stands’ side rail, McCoy kept Gannicus up to his work and the four-year-old galloped all the way to the line to score by two lengths from Next Stop (16-1), partnered by Classic-winning rider Billy Newnes.

Big Storm Coming (20-1) was a head away in third in the hands of former jump jockey now racing presenter Luke Harvey.

McCoy said: “It was never in doubt. Everything went to plan, although it always does when you win.

“He travelled and we know he stays well. I’m having a bit of a blow now but it’s for a great cause.

“Fair play to Jack Berry. He’s done all the hard work and the Injured Jockeys’ Fund are benefiting, but Jack bullied me into it.

“That’s definitely it now unless JP (McManus, McCoy’s former boss) tells me I’ve got to ride for him!”

Powell said: “It’s all worked out great. That’s the 46th winner he’s ridden for me now.

“This horse won at Brighton for Jenny (Powell’s daughter), but the handicapper only put him 1lb, which meant we could just scrape into this.

“He’s not been in a competitive race like this and he was probably in front soon enough, but one crack from AP is about the equivalent of six from Jenny and it made his mind up.

“It’s great for Jack’s charity and this has given me a lot of pleasure. It’s nearly as good as the winners in Dubai.”

Berry said: “It couldn’t have worked out any better. To do it on a horse for one of his best friends is great and I must give my thanks to Fred Done (bookmaker) who has bid £15,000 for the saddle AP used today.”