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Ruby Walsh exclusive: Why AP McCoy is the greatest jumps jockey of all time

Paddy Power columnist lists just some of the stats and reasons that make his rival a real racing legend

by Ruby Walsh | October 28, 2013

Back in October 2002 I started my job as first jockey for Paul Nicholls. I also started 10 years of rent-free lodging with AP McCoy.

When I began that venture I sort of knew AP but over the course of my career in the UK we became, and still are, great friends.

I had no doubt then and still don’t, that the generosity AP and his wife Chanelle gave to me greatly helped me to survive, enjoy and succeed in the job I had. So as he nears the unbelievable and simply outstanding milestone of 4,000 national hunt winners, I want to try to put into words just how amazing this great person is as jockey.


(Above, Ruby caddies for AP with Tiger Woods at the JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am in 2010. Pix: Inpho)

This season AP will become champion jockey for the 19th consecutive season. When that happens…

  • He will have ridden more than 4,100 winners
  • He will have ridden in over 13,500 races
  • Ridden at least 28,000 miles
  • Jumped more than 88,000 obstacles
  • Had the best (or worst) part of 1,000 falls

He is already, and will be for a very long time, the wining-most jump jockey ever. Therefore, it’s easy to say he is the greatest.

However, AP is more than that: he is a terrible morning person and conversation before lunch time is minimalist, at best.


(McCoy clears the final hurdle on Wichita Lineman at Cheltenham in 2007 with Ruby behind on Black Harry)

He models himself on Beckham

AP is a nightmare to watch TV with as he simply can not watch any one channel for more than 60 seconds and is, most certainly, the worst driver I have ever travelled with.

Some other bits you should know then. AP models his wardrobe on David Beckham, wishes he could have played for Arsenal and is nowhere near as bad a loser as he lets on to be.

I will credit him though as a great family man and I have always admired the way he conducts himself on and off the race course. Never once has he been attached to headlines or a story that has in any way damaged our great sport.

AP McCoy Record

He is a role model for all jockeys. He has set records that will never be broken and is now about to hit a milestone, that for me as a competitor of his,is simply remarkable.

4,000 and not out.


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