AP McCoy

Sat, Apr 10, 2010

Betting People

AP McCoy

The Grand National always seems to get the story it deserves in the end. Prior to this year’s race it seemed a fairytale story might have been success for the 17 year old Sam Twiston-Davies on Hello Bud. Or maybe a first female triumph in the race, courtesy of Nina Carberry on Character Building. The Hollywood film moguls had already invested in the magical story of Dream Alliance.

All wrong.

In the end the most moving story that the race could have written came from the least expected and yet the most obvious of quarters. It came in the shape of victory in our greatest race for our greatest jockey.

There was a guttural roar from the granite jawed champion as he passed the post on Don’t Push It and there were tears too as the moment found its mark in the man’s heart.

Very few of us will ever know the agonies of bone crushing falls amidst thundering hooves. Very few of us indeed need to deprive ourselves of the minimum intake our bodies need to function just so that we may be allowed to do our jobs. We don’t face that daily threat of injury or that degree of discipline and denial in return for our wages.

And only one of us, only McCoy, knows what it is to go through that and not just to go on but to excel. Not just to overcome but to overwhelm. To smash through the successive barriers of every record ever set in the sport. To take the sport itself to another level and to compete at a standard that is on a par with the achievements of the greatest champions in any sphere.

We will never experience it but in those moments after the Grand National was won, we all glimpsed it.

Fleetingly we shared in it. Briefly, before the iron man of racing gathered himself once again and sucked it all in. We watched then as he drew in the elation and the joy, the relief and the vindication, into that hungry heart where we hope it will sustain him.

Certainly it will sustain us.

There will be those too, as yet unversed in the sport. They’ll have glimpsed something today too. They’ll learn the hard way, just like we did, that there’ll be more steps backwards than forwards. They’ll learn that winners can be hard to find and losing can be tough to stomach. But in McCoy’s achievement today and in the recognition of its meaning both to him and us I reckon plenty will have seen enough. Enough to get them started and enough to keep them engaged for a long old time to come.

And that is something to celebrate and to cherish. They may have to wait a generation, or more, before they see another like him. For now, he’s ours. Here’s to McCoy.

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5 Responses to “AP McCoy”

  1. Anthoney Says:

    Fantastic for A.P, and so good to see him showing emotion. He really wanted this. Well done Tony.

    Fantastic race to watch. Great performance from Black Apalachi.

    Boycie I will throw form away next year and listen to my wife. I told you that Sue wsore blind that Dont Push It will win as she is 5 months pregnant.

    Good to see Nina get round on Character Building. Too far off the pace, but her year will come.


  2. seanboyce Says:

    It was brilliant wasn’t it.
    Your wife and also my 10 year old son picked him out!

  3. Anthoney Says:

    Well done to your son for picking the winner Boycie.

    Although I never backed a placed horse it did not matter. Watching the happiness of A.P was enough to warm the heart.

  4. DenLon Says:

    No one can deny AP’s dedication, determination & achievements during his career. It would’ve been a travesty if he retired without winning The Grand National.
    I too was delighted to see him showing some emotion post race.

    Sport’s Personality Of The Year would be a fitting reward for his efforts. England win The World Cup with Wayne Rooney scoring a hatful is the only thing that can prevent him. That & the short memory of people that vote in these things!

  5. seanboyce Says:

    We’ll see Den, as Chris Cook pointed out on ATR today the SPOTY award has produced a couple of surprise winners of late so maybe it’s finally the great man’s year. There’s a part of me that doesn’t really mind whether the wider world fully sees in him what we see but I do think it would be nice and I’m sure it would mean a lot to him too.
    Glad you joined us!

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