Tony McCoy to retire at end of season

Tony McCoy looking out from an empty stand at Cheltenham Racecourse
Tony McCoy looking out from an empty stand at Cheltenham Racecourse

AP McCoy, the 19-times champion jump jockey, has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

McCoy, 40, revealed the news after claiming his 200th winner of the season on Mr Mole in the Betfair Price Rush Chase at Newbury.

“I want to go while I’m still enjoying racing and while I am still near the top,” he told Channel 4 Racing.

“This is without a doubt the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I’ve been dreading this day.”

McCoy, who moved to a career tally of 4,322 winners immediately before his announcement, was the first jockey to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 2010.

That was the year he won the Grand National for the first time at his 15th attempt, aboard Don’t Push It.

He has been champion jockey every season since 1996 - his first year as a professional.

Despite planning to stop within a few months, McCoy admitted he “still can’t quite imagine a life without racing”.

He added: “However, I know it’s the right time to end a career I’ve loved.

“Even when I’ve fallen and been injured, I’ve been desperate to get back and achieve my goals, achieve the dream I realised when I was a boy but I’m now ready to retire.

“I want to finish my career as champion jockey, and I want to finish on a win. I don’t know when that will be exactly, but 20 championship titles is a nice even number. “