My Autobiography, by AP McCoy
Sunday 10 March 2013
Two days to go to the Cheltenham Festival. AP McCoy is only third favourite to be leading jockey but whatever happens, the Northern Irishman looks certain to be jump racing's champion for the 18th consecutive year, and at 38 shows no signs of retiring.
Most riders would be happy to have obliterated every National Hunt record in sight, but McCoy is a perennial worryguts; writing of his first full season, when he won the conditional jockeys' title at 21, he says: "My overriding fear the whole time was fear of losing the title, not excitement at the prospect of winning it. That was to become a common theme for me."
And how; though he has won every major race at least once, quantity not quality is what drives McCoy: it is "much more important to me to be champion jockey than to win big races," he claims. His austere lifestyle – he neither drinks nor smokes – makes this updated version of his 2011 autobiography a sober read in every respect, a world away from the scandal-strewn accounts penned by other jockeys such as his fellow Irishman Timmy Murphy.
The only revelation is his unpleasant behaviour towards his wife, Chantelle, during their long, on-off courtship, when he admits to behaving like a grade-A shit and control freak. "Statistics are everything to me," he says as he targets 4,000 winners. He'll doubtless get there, but on this evidence you do worry for him when he finally has to retire.
Published in paperback by Orion, £9.99
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 3 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 4 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 5 Pastafarian former porn star Asia Lemmon allowed to wear colander in driving licence photo
Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
Better Call Saul: Breaking Bad spin-off gets release date, logo and ominous new trailer
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Angelina Jolie confirms retirement from acting: 'I've never been comfortable on-screen'
Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services