In many parts of Europe, horse racing is one of the most popular forms of gambling and entertainment. In the UK, it’s not unusual for someone to pick up a Racing Post and head out to jump racing at tracks like Cheltenham, Newbury and Kempton. While National Hunt racing fails to hit the mark in Asia and North America, it has maintained popularity and a rich history is the United Kingdom. It doesn’t take a great historian to realize that Anthony Peter McCoy (born 4 May 1974) is the best jumps jockey there ever was and perhaps there will ever be. During a race career that spanned more than 23 years, he holds every relevant record for a jump jockey in the UK. He has won every major race at least once and has ridden horses trained by almost every relevant trainer in the last twenty years. He has guided champions and just for good measure, he won nine flat races just to prove he wasn’t a “one-trick pony.” The Records Sports fans and experts would be hard-pressed to find any athlete who has dominated their sport the way AP McCoy has dominated National Hunt racing in the UK and Ireland. During his amazing race career, he established the following records that may never be broken.
- Most National Hunt Wins in a Season (289 in 2001/02) – breaking the record for jump or flat racing in Britain that was formerly held by Sir Gordon Richards, a record that stood ever since 1947.
- Most consecutive riding titles (20 from 1995/96 to 2014/15) – smashed the record of 7 straight titles formerly held by Peter Scudamore.
- Most Career Wins by a Jumps Jockey (4,348) – Broke the record by Richard Dunwoody on 27 August, 2002.
- Fastest Jockey to Reach the 100 Winner Mark During a season – This occurred during that remarkable 2001/02 season.
- Most Seasons with Over 150 Wins (19)
The Races Given his status as the top jump jockey of all-time, McCoy had the opportunity to ride for some of the best trainers in the land, which put him on the backs of many great horses. While he has won pretty much every relevant race in the UK, but the one his is most proud of is his 2010 UK Grand National win aboard Don’t Push It. The horse was trained by Jonjo O’Neill and owned by legendary gambler JP McManus. After 15 attempts at Britain’s most biggest National Hunt race, he finally broke through, putting the cap on the top of a incredible racing career. Other major races claimed by McCoy include the Irish Grand National in 2007 with Butler’s Cabin, the Midlands Grand National and the Welsh National in 2010 aboard the incomparable Synchronised, the Scottish Grand National in 1997 aboard Belmont King, Cheltenham Gold Cup (2 times) with Mr Mulligan in 1997 and Synchronised in 2012, and the King George VI Chase in 2002 aboard Best Mate. Of course, there were hundreds of other great wins throughout his career. The Honours As one of the most celebrated jockeys in Britain, McCoy was the winner of several important honours during his career. They included BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2010, RTE Sports Person of the Year in 2013, Conditional Jockey of the Year in 1995 and Jump Jockey of the Year from 1996-2004 and 2006-2012. If you are interested in going racing or having a bet on jump races held in the UK, there are several great tracks with racecourse bookies plus there are online bookmakers too that provide form guides along with the opportunity to place wagers. This article was written by John Hawthorne who is a big fan of horseracing in the U.K and abroad. His interest in equine sports and his passion for writing has led to a professional writing career. He currently writes for an Australian based horse racing website.