AP in action at Cheltenham

25th October 2013

AP on winners, the big 4000 and The Open Meeting at Cheltenham

It has been a great week for me as I near 4000 winners and my tally was helped in no small part by a five-timer at Carlisle on yesterday.

When I rode 1000 winners I definitely didn’t think I would get to towards this total. The same would be true after 2000, but for some reason when I rode 3000 I thought to myself that I could ride 4000 winners – maybe when I got to 3000 I was just starting to get the hang of it! I do like to set myself goals and targets to chase as it keeps my mind right and gives me something to aim at. I know some people don’t like setting goals and targets in case they get disappointed, but I get disappointed if I don’t reach my goals and targets and that keeps me motivated.

I am very proud of what I have achieved and I have never for a moment taken it for granted. I have never thought I have a divine right to ride more winners than anyone else and when I do ride 4000 winners I won’t wake up and think ‘wow, I’m a great jockey’ because it will already be in the past and you have to keep looking ahead. I know how hard you have to work to get to this point. There have been a lot of good days and a lot of bad days and you have a lot of highs and lows. This is a pretty good sport at keeping you level headed so I have never really thought I was any different from anyone else.

The five winners at Carlisle were enjoyable and it is something you would like to happen every day but it often doesn’t or it can’t as you might only have a couple of rides. I have been lucky that Jonjo’s horses are flying and that JP has plenty for me to ride and it is just about keeping the moment going forward.

I also got 100 winners in a season for the 19th consecutive year with the wins at Carlisle and that is something that I am proud of. To ride 100 winners for 19 years in a row is nice and I don’t think too many people will have done it. I guess the likes of Pat Eddery will have managed it and it is a nice achievement, but I am always looking forward and treat it as the clock going back to zero and starting again. My goal is now to ride 200 winners!

It was nice to be back at Cheltenham last weekend and I had a couple of winners and a couple of seconds. Twirling Magnet won, which was nice, but unfortunately he is no longer a novice chaser now and he will have to step in to handicap company, which will make it more difficult for him. I rode a nice bumper horse of Rebecca Curtis’s called Carningli and he could go back there for the Paddy Power meeting.

The Paddy Power meeting has been pretty successful to me and I have won the Paddy Power four times – not for a while though so I had better pull my finger out! It is a good meeting and a lot of friends of mine go there and enjoy it as not as crowded as the Festival and has a good atmosphere as well. It is a meeting you look forward to and is definitely special as the first big jumps meeting of the season.

Also, away from the saddle I should tell you about my new role with BBC Radio 5 Live. I did a slot on Talk Sport last winter on a Friday morning and quite enjoyed it and was then approached by the BBC to do a lot with them on a Friday evening. Racing has been very good to me and a slot like this helps to advertise our sport and give it a bit more good publicity.

I read somewhere  that I was supposedly doing this with my retirement in mind! I am not silly enough to think that I will ride for ever but this was something that interested me and will not affect my riding at all as it is at 9pm on a Friday night.

This is an extract from the first entry of the exclusive blog by AP McCoy, Ambassador for the Cheltenham Racecourse 2013-14 Season and 18 times Champion Jockey. Read the full entry at www.cheltenham.co.uk/ap-mccoy/