Record-breaker Tony McCoy no plans to quit racing after 4,000-winner landmark
Last Updated: 08/11/13 9:39am
Tony McCoy says retirement is not even a consideration while he still loves the cut and thrust of racing.
The 18-times champion jockey created another monumental landmark at Towcester on Thursday when he secured his 4,000th career win over jumps aboard Mountain Tunes.
McCoy, aged 39, admits to having finally achieved contentment in his career, but says retirement is not yet on his radar.
He told the Telegraph: "There are any amount of people around who don't think I'm the best jockey, but I've got to a stage now that I'm happy with what I've done - at last.
"I could never have ridden 4,000 winners without loving my job and If I ever get to the point where I'm not loving it, I'll stop.
"But, at this rate, someone might have to tell me when to stop.
CAREER IN NUMBERS
- Winners: 4,000
- First victory: 1992
- Winners at Newton Abbot: 264
- Weeks as Champ Jockey: 936
- Prize money: £35m
- Miles each year: 75,000
- Cheltenham winners: 29
"I hope I'll be sensible enough to quit on my own terms, but my biggest problem is that I enjoy it too much.
"If I was ever granted one wish it would be to come back as another person and be able to start this all over again.
"Essentially I am a dreamer. I've dreamed all my life. When I started I dreamed I'd be champion because it is a sport that is all about the people who win the most and I have a fear of not winning."
That the Northern Irishman achieved the magic milestone aboard Mountain Tunes heightened McCoy's sense of satisfaction.
The four-year-old gelding is trained by regular ally Jonjo O'Neill and competes in the green and gold silks of JP McManus, to whom McCoy has been retained for the last nine years.
He said: "I'm always relieved to win and this race might not have been the biggest, richest or best I've ever won, but it was fantastic how it happened - riding a horse in the gold and green silks of JP that is trained by Jonjo O'Neill.
"Doing that means as much to me as the actual number and, not that you can stage-manage these things, I was determined that it was the way it should happen."
Despite having achieved more than any jumps jockey in history, McCoy insists there is always room for improvement.
He said: "Someone was saying I was also the most experienced jumps jockey ever because I've had the most rides.
"I could never have ridden 4,000 winners without loving my job and If I ever get to the point where I'm not loving it, I'll stop. But, at this rate, someone might have to tell me when to stop."
"But never a day go past when I don't learn something new and the person who reckons any different is wrong.
"There is no place for arrogance or complacency in racing because you are up there one minute and on your backside the next.
Sky Sports' Alex Hammond was among those to heap praise on McCoy's achievement and said in her column: "In an age where we are constantly looking to attract new followers to racing I can think of no better advert than AP and I can't ever see his achievements being equalled let alone bettered. Well done champ!"
And the jockey's father, Peadar McCoy, admitted he felt like crying after seeing his son drive Mountain Tunes home.
"It's a great day, I feel like crying. It couldn't have gone better, the way he won it wasn't easy but it was great.
"He got a great reception when he went to Northern Ireland at Down Royal the other day, it was brilliant. I'm very proud."
Martin Pipe called his former stable jockey "absolutely phenomenal".
"He's absolutely incredible. Not only is he a great friend, he's a brilliant jockey and a brilliant role model for the young jockeys to follow. He's totally dedicated to the sport and gives every horse, whatever grade it's in, be it a seller or a Gold Cup, the same ride - he's so determined to succeed. He's unparalleled in the history of racing."