IT is the last week of the jump season and AP McCoy’s retirement is rightly dominating the headlines.
A lot of the lads in the weighing room are thinking about it. In a way you could look at it with a happy feeling because there will be so many more winners available in the future, but to be honest I’m a little bit sad.
Everyone in the weighing room has so much to thank AP McCoy for. He is the reason most of us are where we are. I probably wouldn’t have pushed myself as hard only for what that man has done. The way he rides even when injured; so many of us have to thank him for setting such high standards.
He has been massively good to guys throughout the years. I’ve asked him to do a few favours and he will always happily oblige. The way AP McCoy conducts himself is an example to us all. AP McCoy is an unbelievable all round guy.
I’m hoping that I have a few rides at Sandown on Saturday. I want to be there in the weighing room when he signs out. Every jockey has so much respect for him. Sometimes in racing you get dropped off a horse and jockeys can be a bit chippy when it happens. However, if you get dropped off for AP McCoy you accept it because everything he has done for the sport.
Watching him recently at the big Festivals at Aintree and Ayr was a lesson in how to behave. He posed for photographs; he signed every autograph and just handled himself brilliantly. AP McCoy is a very, very special person. If I was a punter I’d be backing every horse he has on Saturday at Sandown.
At the Scottish Grand National last Saturday Catching On gave me a good spin – we eventually finished fifth. The horse is still a novice and will be better next year.
Horses who are that bit fresher usually do better at Ayr – the first three in the National were all fresh, they hadn’t ran at Cheltenham or Aintree. I was pleased that Catching On ran well, the connections were too. Ayr is a great Festival I love going there. You are treated so well by the organisers – they put you up in a hotel and they do a great job.
Personally last week was tough because we noticed our daughter, Aoife, wasn’t herself. On Tuesday night we had to bring her to A&E which was pretty scary. She was kept until Friday for observation and it was a very worrying time.
Earlier that day I had fallen off Big Sound at Kelso, but when I was sitting waiting in the hospital everything was put in perspective. Racing is a game and a job- all that really matters is your health. Thankfully Aoife seems to be getting better.
Back AP McCoy at Sandown on Saturday.