Tony McCoy today became the first jockey to ride 4,000 winners over jumps in Britain and Ireland when he added the one victory he needed.
He came fifth on Church Field in his first race today before clinching a narrow win on 6-4 favorite Mountain Tunes in a novice hurdle at Towcester in central England, overtaking Kris Spin in the closing strides.
Both McCoy’s mounts today are trained by Jonjo O’Neill and owned by J.P. McManus.
“What a relief,” McCoy said in a televised interview as fellow jockeys showered him with champagne. “It’s amazing, the racing people are fantastic. It couldn’t have gone any better. I’m so pleased I did it for Jonjo and J.P. because they’ve been so good to me.”
McCoy rode his first winner 21 years ago at Thurles in the Republic of Ireland.
The 39-year-old Northern Irishman, widely known by his initials A.P., has been Britain’s champion jockey over fences and hurdles for the past 18 seasons, a record tally.
His major race victories have included the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup at Cheltenham, and the Grand National at Aintree.
“Full marks to him, he’s a credit to the game,” McManus said. “I’m so proud and pleased that I know him and his family. Long may he carry on.”
McCoy’s total of winners is more than 1,400 ahead of his nearest rival, Richard Johnson.