Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Another big win for McCoy

Published:Friday | February 13, 2015 | 12:00 AM

LEOPARDSTOWN, Ireland (AP):

Tony McCoy began his journey toward retirement by winning the Irish Hennessy Gold Cup, one of the country's top horse races, for the first time on Sunday.

A day after announcing that he would be retiring from the sport in April, Britain's most successful jumps jockey rode Carlingford Lough, a 4-1 shot, to victory by three-quarters of a length at Leopardstown.

"You can't fight fate," McCoy said, "and it was obviously meant to be, the way things happened."

The Irish Hennessy is regarded as a trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Britain's most prestigious jumps race, in March.

McCoy is heading for a 20th champion jockey title and is one of Britain's leading sports stars.

McCoy earned his 200th winner of the season on Mr Mole at Newbury last Saturday, and then made the surprise announcement.

"It's going to be the last time I ride 200 winners," McCoy said.

"I am going to be retiring at the end of the season. I want to go out while I still enjoy riding, and am still relatively at the top. I want to go out as champion jockey, and it will be my 20th year if I can win the jockeys' championship."

The 40-year-old McCoy, who has been crowned champion jockey 19 times, became the first jockey to ride 4,000 winners over jumps in Britain and Ireland in November 2013.