In the next few days it’s highly likely Ap McCoy will blast through the historic 4,000 winner mark.
To put that in perspective the second most successful jockey of all time is Richard Dunwoody who retired on the 1699 winner mark!
Yes that’s right Ap is more than double his nearest rival demonstrating his dominance for so many years of the jumps game. He is human, well just about and can make mistakes and to be hyper Critical he is not the jockey he was ten years ago but at six months short of his fortieth birthday he is still at the top of his game.
On average one in every seven rides end in the jockey falling so do the maths and Ap has taken a real pounding to his body over the past twenty years. He famously shrugs off the kind of knocks that would make many of us take to our beds for a week and is back in the saddle the next day with a relentless determination that borders on the fanatical.
Lets not forget that like most jockeys Ap is well below the weight he would naturally be so unlike any other sport has to make a huge effort without being able to refuel and eat the right things. Ruby Walsh when staying with the great man felt peckish in the night and crept downstairs to raid the fridge only to be confronted by twenty cans of diet coke and a solitary carrot.
Every horse he rides be it at the Festival or on a wet Monday at Fontwell in front of deserted stands gets the same all action ride. That more than anything is why punters love the man.
So as he races through this historic barrier raise a glass to the great man and remember the winners he has given you over the years. Life and old Father Time will get him in the end and he will pack in so lets enjoy this sporting marvel while we can. It’s an overused phrase but it’s appropriate in this case, we really won’t see his like again!
Back next Thursday.