28/08/2002

Plaudits flood in for record-breaking Ulster jockey

The tributes have been flooding in for Ulster jockey Tony McCoy who yesterday became the most successful British jump jockey ever after notching up his 1,700 career win.

McCoy surpassed Richard Dunwoody's total of 1,6999 victories following two winners at Uttoxeter yesterday afternoon.

Martin Pipe, who owns the stable McCoy races out of, said: "I am delighted to be associated with him. I get a great buzz and a great thrill every time he rides for me. Just looking at the stats you can see why he is such a great jockey.

"It really is a marvellous achievement and it is as good as anything achieved in any sport. It really brings racing to the fore again."

Tony McCoy’s successes were hailed by racing enthusiast – and UUP Lagan Valley assembly member – Ivan Davis.

Mr Davis said: "After such a depressing week when Ulster sport was so tarnished across the world by the death threat to Neil Lennon, Tony McCoy has given us all something to be proud of again. He is one of the top sportsmen ever to come out of Northern Ireland and I believe he deserves major recognition for what he has achieved."

Last season McCoy smashed Sir Gordon Richards' record of 269 winners in a season and set new mark for most winners in a jumps season by riding his 254th winner.

Then this year, he equalled Peter Scudamore's career total of 1,678 triumphs on Rakaposhi Lass at Worcester. He then bettered Dunwoody's mark yesterday to set another all-time record.

Mr Davis added: "In a Province as small as Northern Ireland we have proved down the years that we have the wonderful ability to produce world-class sportsmen and women. Our hall of fame is impressive and Tony McCoy will surely now be on a par with stars such as George Best, Denis Taylor, Joey Dunlop Jimmy Kirkwood and Wayne McCullough.”

(GMcG)

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