AP McCoy: Trophy tribute as jockey retires at Sandown

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport
AP McCoy: A tribute to the jump racing legend
AP McCoy's racing farewell
Venue: Sandown Park : Date: Saturday 25 April McCoy's final rides: 15:15 BST Mr Mole, 16:25 Box Office
Feature race: Bet 365 Gold Cup 15:50 (McCoy has no ride booked)
BBC coverage: 5 live Sport comes from Sandown presented by Mark Pougatch. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website

AP McCoy will be honoured with a trophy tribute as the jockey ends a record-breaking career at Sandown on Saturday.

The current champion jump jockey's trophy is to be retired and given permanently to the 20-time winner.

Northern Irishman McCoy, 40, has two rides at his final fixture - on Mr Mole (15:15 BST) before be bows out aboard Box Office (16:25).

The race has been moved forward from its original scheduled time of 17:35 to allow Channel Four to show it live.

AP McCoy weeks at number one

The Sandown swansong

After more than 16,000 rides, 4,300 wins and 1,000 falls, an extraordinary career will come to a close on the final day of the 2014-15 jump racing season.

McCoy will be crowned champion jockey for the 20th consecutive time in front of a sell-out 18,000 crowd.

The champion's trophy was commissioned in 2007 by the then British Horseracing Board and as McCoy has held the title since 1996, he is the only man to have ever lifted it.

McCoy is an avid Arsenal fan and the trophy is expected to be presented to him on Saturday by former Gunners striker Ian Wright.

AP McCoy with champion jockey's trophy
AP McCoy with the champion jockey's trophy which he will keep permanently

Can he finish on a winner?

McCoy does not have a ride in the meeting's feature race - the Bet 365 Gold Cup at 15:50 - but he does have good chances with his two mounts.

It was after he won on Mr Mole at Newbury in February that the rider announced this would be his final season in the saddle.

The seven-year-old horse, trained by Paul Nicholls, was a disappointing eighth in the Queen Mother Champion Chase won by Dodging Bullets at last month's Cheltenham Festival, but won three times earlier in the season.

Rivals include former champion chaser Sprinter Sacre, who is bidding to rediscover his best form after an injury setback.

Cornelius Lysaght, BBC racing correspondent
"Amid all the piles of McCoy stats, there's one that stands out for me; despite being on the tall side and naturally heavier than many riding weights, he's never once put up overweight - nothing demonstrates better his single-minded, professional approach.
"Now much of the talk is of his future, though what about racing's future? Of late, so much of the sport's undoubted positive profile has been built on his broad back. The challenge now is to keep that energy going in life after McCoy."

Box Office, trained by Jonjo O'Neill for owner JP McManus, would be an aptly-named final winner as McCoy has proved a box office draw, with the race brought forward more than an hour so it can be show on Channel Four television.

O'Neill tweeted on Friday: "We have just declared Box Office for Sandownpark tomorrow. This will be AP's last ride for JP and myself. #ThanksAP."

Box Office has run at both Cheltenham and Aintree this season, finishing seventh at both festivals.

McCoy has made no secret of the fact he would like to depart with a winner, ideally trained by O'Neill for his boss McManus.

AP McCoy in numbers

Reluctant retirement

Father-of-two McCoy admits he has little idea what he will do after retirement, and reluctantly decided to stop riding competitively.

"I love riding, I love my job and like every sportsman I just wished it was never going to happen," he said.

"I've always lived in the fear of carrying on too long, or maybe not being as successful as I was, or maybe not as good as I was.

"I always had it in my head that I wanted to get out while I was champion jockey. I know it's the right decision. I never wanted it to happen that people were thinking I was not as good as I was."

Top links:
Profile of AP McCoy
Click here to see his career in pictures
Champion elect: Who's next?

Top Stories