By Simon Jackson.
Tony McCoy was crowned champion national hunt jockey for the 19th successive season at Sandown on Saturday and is already eyeing a 20th championship title.
The 39-year-old landed 218 winners in a memorable season that included a landmark 4,000th victory when winning on Mountain Tunes at Towcester in November.
“You have got to take it day by day. I would love to think I could ride 5,000 winners. I have always set myself goals and take it day by day and week by week or year by year,” the Arsenal fan said after he was awarded the trophy by Gunners’ legend Charlie George.
“I would like to beat Martin Pipe’s record [of 4182 winners]. I have another 77 to get there, but that’s just personal. He is a man who I have huge respect for and has been a great friend. I would just like to beat him.
“And then I would like to win a 20th jockeys’ title. That would be something I would be very proud of if I was lucky to achieve and hopefully have some good winners for JP and Noreen [McManus – employers] as they are the people I work for and are lucky to ride for and so I would like to be successful for them.
“You have got to keep being successful. You can’t keep going if you are not successful.”
Meanwhile, Paul Nicholls reclaimed the national hunt trainer’s title to secure his eighth championship in nine years.
“Nicholls said: “It is good for the whole team, for all the owners that support us, for everybody that has worked so hard, Clifford [Baker] my head lad – he puts so much into it. It just reflects well on Team Ditcheat.”
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