McCoy Back With A Winner
A P McCoy, the legendary ex-jump jockey, reflected before the television cameras after enjoying a “final” winner in the charity Clipper Logistics Leger legends Classified Stakes over the straight mile at Doncaster today.
He won on 7/2 favourite Gannicus, trained by former jump jockey Brendan Powell, by two lengths from 15 opponents and was delighted to do so, declaring that unless owner J P McManus, who retained him for many years, wanted him to ride again this was his last participation in a race.
McCoy said: “That is it – I only rode today because I got bullied into it by Jack Berry. I don’t mind saying he bullied me because he did. It was a thank you to him (Jack Berry) because of all the hard work he has done for the Injured Jockeys Fund. So unless J P McManus tells me I have to ride something for him, I am retired. My riding career is over after today and it is nice to go out on a winner.
“Maybe I should lose two or three stone and come back as a Flat jockey! Fair play to all the organisers today.
“It felt a little different last night when I was going through my racing bag, trying to get things together, the right gear, stuff that I had not seen for five or six months up in my attic.
“It was for a great cause today – purely for Jack Berry for all the hard work he has done for the Injured Jockeys Fund over the years. The Jack Berry House in Malton is a fantastic facility and, as jockeys, we need to repay people like Jack Berry.
“It was a great fun day, all the lads enjoyed it and I beat Johnny Murtagh, something I was always going to take great satisfaction in doing. Someone asked if I saw Luke Harvey in my mirrors – I said Luke Harvey does not like seeing himself in a mirror! But it was nice – a great feelgood day and I really enjoyed it.
“I rode with Brendan and had a lot of winners for him. Brendan told someone that the instructions were to hold on to Gannicus for as long as possible – that was never going to happen. I looked at the horse’s form and he seemed to stay well enough so I kept near the front and was not going to going to give it away. My great friend Carl Llewellyn always said I was an instinct rider so why change.
“It felt weird crossing the winning line, which I got a real thrill out of. The satisfaction was at the winning post. There was no pressure today but I wanted to win. I knew the only thing which would make me happy was winning. All the fun is in winning.”
Among people crowded around the winner’s enclosure when McCoy dismounted was Frankie Dettori, who cheered with everyone else.
Today’s crowd at Doncaster for the first day of the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival came to around 6,600, some nine per cent up on last year, which the racecourse put down to the McCoy factor.
The live charity auction, featuring seven lots, at the charity lunch before the race made collectively £54,800, with McCoy’s saddle today fetching £15,000 and a Coolmore visit package £16,000.
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