Thursday, 7 November 2013

16.29 Reasons to Celebrate McCoy

There are around 10,000 races in Britain each year, which makes you wonder why Tony McCoy has won only 4,000 in his entire career. What on earth has he been messing around at!

About 60% of those races are on the Flat; Tony McCoy rides over jumps, so I suppose that cuts it down a bit. Then of course there are several race-meetings taking place each afternoon and he can only be at one of them – unless he takes a helicopter from one track to another, which has been known. When he is at the racecourse, he rarely rides in every race either – it’s good to let the other jockeys have a chance. Besides, he might stand out a bit in one of those races for lady riders. 

In fact it turns out that Tony McCoy doesn’t even win every race he rides in – only one in every four. Next someone is going to tell me that this is an unpredictable sport where punters struggle to find winners, while bookmakers laugh into their deep satchels and the jockeys go home in ambulances. Oh that’s right, I forgot. Well anyway, despite that, I’ve a good feeling about Sa Suffit at Kelso on Saturday (2.15pm) – he hasn’t run for eighteen months and has had a change of trainer, but he used to be a favourite of mine – I’ll tell you whether he’s still a favourite on Sunday. 

If you’ve placed one pound on every horse that Tony McCoy has ridden at Cartmel during the last 5 years, you’ll be £16.29 better off than you were in 2008. However, if you’re one of those punters that has been backing him blind at all racecourses, you’ll have lost £444.96 during the same period – almost as bad as following the advice in this blog.

The moral of this story is that, if you’re one of McCoy’s fans, you should only come racing at Cartmel and, even then, you would be better off backing horses ridden by Lucy Alexander – who would have won you £86.13 for a regular one pound stake on all rides. 

Now that Tony McCoy has landed his 4,000th winner – a remarkable achievement which will probably never be surpassed - he should celebrate by going somewhere really special for dinner – like the restaurant at Miller Howe on the banks of Lake Windermere, one of our race sponsors in August this year.

The winner of the Miller Howe Handicap Steeplechase was ridden by Jamie Moore, but Tony shouldn’t hold that against them – I visited Miller Howe this week and enjoyed the best meal I’ve eaten in Cumbria. That’s saying something, given the local (Michelin starred) competition in Cartmel. At just £25 for a three course lunch, it was good value too – which may be important if you missed backing Mountain Tunes, the latest in a very very long line of McCoy winners.

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