By Simon Jackson.
Multiple champion jockey Tony McCoy has announced that he will retire from race-riding by the end of the current jumps season that finishes in April.
McCoy broke the news immediately after riding his 200th winner of the season when landing the Grade 2 Betfair Price Rush chase on Mr Mole at Newbury on Saturday.
McCoy has been champion jockey for the past 19 seasons and the victory – his second on the day after the success of Qewy – was his 4,322 winner.
A 20th jockeys’ championship appears certain for the 40-year-old who has ridden 79 winners more this season than his nearest rival, Richard Johnson (121).
McCoy was the first jockey to ride 3,000 and then 4,000 winners. Other highlights include winning the Grand National on Don’t Push It, Cheltenham Gold Cups on Mr Mulligan and Synchronised and becoming the first jockey to be named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
“This is without a doubt, the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make”, McCoy said. “I’ve been dreading this day, and if I’m honest, I still can’t quite imagine a life without racing.
“However, I know it’s the right time to end a career I’ve loved, every single day. Even when I’ve fallen and been injured, I’ve been desperate to get back and achieve my goals, achieve the dream I realised when I was a boy but I’m now ready to retire.
“I want to finish my career as Champion Jockey, and I want to finish on a win. I don’t know when that will be exactly, but 20 Championship titles is a nice even number.
“But, I’m not done just yet – I’ve got the Cheltenham Festival to focus on now and I’ll take it from there.
“There have been a lot of people who have helped me throughout my whole career who I want to thank. I will be forever indebted to them, they have helped make all my dreams come true.”
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