Jockey Tony McCoy earns 4,000th career win

ROB HARRIS (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated Press

Tony McCoy celebrated his 4,000th career win on Thursday, cementing his status as Britain's most successful jumps jockey.

Britain's champion jockey 18 times, McCoy earned his latest milestone win with his second ride of the day, guiding 6-4 favorite Mountain Tunes to glory by half a length at the central England circuit of Towcester.

''It was just amazing, it couldn't have worked out any better,'' McCoy said.

Since his first success in March 1992, the 39-year-old Northern Irishman has produced more wins than any other National Hunt jockey in history.

Tributes to McCoy were led by Richard Johnson, only other active rider to have ridden more than 2,500 jumps winners.

''He doesn't relent at all,'' Johnson said. ''He's as keen now as he was when he first came over from Ireland. What he has achieved in the last 15 to 20 years is incredible.

''He has changed riding, especially in the National Hunt field, and moved it forward. It's been a pleasure to ride with him and you'd struggle to find a nicer person to work with, either, on a day-to-day basis. He's as hungry as he's ever been.''

The next target for McCoy - who is known widely by his initials A.P. - is surpassing Martin Pipe's record 4,182 wins, of which 3,929 were over jumps.

''A.P. is just absolutely phenomenal,'' said Pipe, a 15-time champion jumps trainer. ''Always Perfect.''

Frankie Dettori, a 3-time champion jockey on the flat, hailed McCoy as the ''leading rider of a generation.''

''His will to win is unsurpassed and his spirit is unquenchable,'' Dettori said. ''What is more amazing is that he has time for everyone and is a genuinely good guy.''

The extent of McCoy's achievement was celebrated across the sports world on Thursday, particularly from Arsenal, the Premier League club he supports.

''He has been at the top of his sport for a very long time - as long as I have been manager of Arsenal Football Club - and that shows fantastic consistency,'' Arsene Wenger said. ''He has come through a lot of injuries, and has shown great resilience to get to where he is.''

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