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Magnificent McCoy hits the 4,000 mark

Thu 7th Nov 2013, 15:43

Jockeys at Thurles celebrate Tony McCoy's achievement
© Photo Healy Racing

The remarkable Tony McCoy rode his 4000th career winner when Mountain Tunes won at Towcester this afternoon.

The 18-time champion jockey had closed to within one of the landmark when Minella For Steak struck on Wednesday and reached it aboard Jonjo O'Neill's charge in front of a bumper crowd at the Northamptonshire track.

Sent off the 6/4 favourite, Mountain Tunes looked to be struggling on the home turn but gradually closed in upon leader Kris Spin from the second-last flight and under the sort of determined drive that has become McCoy's trademark, he got up in the last strides to score by half a length in the colours of owner JP McManus, with whom so many of his recent successes have been shared.

"It's incredible - I didn't think he was going to do it," McCoy's wife Chanelle told At The Races amidst chaotic scenes in the Towcester winner's enclosure.

"Our hearts were absolutely in our mouths. Everybody is here, his father, his brother, Mr McManus. We'll be celebrating tonight in our pub The Outside Chance."

"It was just amazing, it couldn't have worked out any better," the rider added, before getting showered with champagne by his weighing-room colleagues.

"To do it for Jonjo and the McManus's is brilliant as they've been so good to me. "It was always hopefully going to be in JP's colours.

"Racing people are fantastic, they are so pleased for me.

"I've had the same agent, Dave Roberts, from day one and his dad sadly passed away yesterday so I'd like to dedicate this to him.

"To have Chanelle (wife), Eve and Archie (children) here is great and to do it in the McManus silks means a lot - Eve thinks they belong to me!"

McManus paid his own tribute to the rider. "I remember when AP first came to ride for us and [ex-jockey and trainer] Christy Roche said to me 'This AP McCoy is getting 7lb - he should be giving weight away'. Little did we realise then that he'd be riding 4000 winners.

"AP is behind everything that is good. I'm just so pleased and proud that I know him and his family and long may he continue.

"It was very nice that he waited to ride one of mine and I'm chuffed that he did."