Just another record to break: AP McCoy on track for 300 winners
Tony, AP, or simply ‘The Champ’, no matter what you call him he is National Hunt racing personified. But should we be prepared for a jumps racing season absent of countless McCoy drives, sooner rather than later?
Champion jockey for the last 19 seasons, the Ulsterman has enjoyed a dominance in the sport of kings that is unrivalled in pretty much any other discipline.
This August he broke his own record for the fastest century of wins in one season, reaching three figures in 116 days.
This following an outstanding achievement last November when he guided Mountain Tunes in archetypal McCoy fashion, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, to claim an unbelievable 4,000th career win.
But for a man that keeps breaking records, there is always another target on the horizon.
With his highest season total standing at 289, reaching a triple century could be next on his list, with bookmakers Ladbrokes offering 3/1 that the feat is achieved in the 2014/15 current campaign.
Given that he has exceeded 200 wins every season since 1994/95 and with the speed of his century this term, an injury-free autumn and winter could well see AP claiming yet another accolade.
But how much longer will racing fans have to enjoy McCoy in the green and gold silks of JP McManus?
The man himself has previously stated that a 20th title is another target on his mind, and it would certainly be an admirable way to bow out.
Before he reached the 4,000 winner mark he stated:
“I do like to set myself targets and goals, and at the moment that (4,000 wins) is the goal. Who knows what happens after that but I am fully aware that I don’t want to carry on too long.”
So perhaps a 20th title would be an acceptable way, in his mind, to bring the curtain down on a glittering career.
For most in the jumping game, the Cheltenham Festival is the pinnacle of the season, but it is not something that McCoy has an outstanding record in, relatively speaking of course.
And with retirement surely only a few years away, despite the sheer determination of the man himself, Ladbrokes have opened a book on how many more Festival winners McCoy will ride.
The 2010 Sports Personality of the Year winner is 6/4 to add between five and eight winners at the Prestbury Park showpiece to his record, while both ‘Under five’, and ‘Over eight’ can be backed at 2/1.
Despite his success McCoy has only reached three winners in a Festival week once, back in 2006, and averages 1.5 winners there every year.
So on the basis that he may have less than three years left in the saddle, backing him to actually under-achieve at something could well be the value at 2/1.
Nevertheless, regardless of how many more winners he guides up the Cheltenham hill, McCoy has earned his place in racing folklore and will take some replacing when he finally hangs up his breeches.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing
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