Northern Ireland

Champion jockey AP McCoy's mother talks of '20 brilliant years'

AP McCoy Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mud, sweat and tears - AP McCoy is a 19-time champion jockey

The fairytale ending to a glittering career was not to be for 19-time champion jockey AP McCoy.

He came close but just missed out on a second Grand National title at the weekend.

And while it wasn't quite "happy ever after", his mother Claire said she was delighted that he got around the course safely.

Speaking just after the race, from her Moneyglass home, she said even if her son did not win, the right people did.

"My legs are a bit wobbly but I'm fine," she said as the jockeys romped home.

Image copyright Alex Livesey
Image caption Tony McCoy talks to Ruby Walsh on their way to the start of Saturday's Grand National at Aintree

Her son's final Grand National at the weekend went up in a puff of smoke for her, she confessed.

"I didn't watch it but I stood here and listened to it. I was sort of lying over the sink. I smoke and there was so much smoke round me, I could hardly see. I just couldn't watch it," she said.

"I hate to hear that roar at the beginning once they get over that first fence. I thought then I could watch it but not today. You are worried something might happen and there has been so much pressure in the last six weeks, he is in every paper.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption AP McCoy with wife Chanelle, daughter Eve and son Archie Peadar

"The main thing was that he got round. I knew when I was listening that he was still there, he hadn't gone down, that they were saying he had a great run."

Finding out that the winning horse was Many Clouds proved the silver lining for her.

The McCoys are good friends with trainer Oliver Sherwood and his wife, Tanya.

"I would be very great with Oliver and Tanya," Mrs McCoy said.

Image caption It was nail biting for Claire McCoy who could not watch her son race, but listened on the radio instead

"When they won the Hennessey. I rang them and wrote to them. I have a photograph of Many Clouds on the wall.

"I had said to Peader (her husband) earlier in the day, if Antony doesn't win, I want it to be Many Clouds. They are such nice people and they didn't have it easy. Then they won the Hennessey on Many Clouds and this is lovely for them."

Mrs McCoy said the Grand National day was nerve-wracking for everyone involved. She said her son's career as a jockey had been wonderful for all of the family.

"We have had 20 brilliant years," she said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption There was no fairytale finish in the Grand National for AP McCoy, who came in fifth on Shutthefrontdoor

"The girls said they knew how to party because of their brother. We have met some lovely people. He is extremely good to his father and extremely good to all of us.

"He didn't win today, but when it wasn't him, it was the right people who won."

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