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
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Video: Boxer Vido Loncar brutally assaults referee following defeat
Mike Read 'apologises unreservedly' for Ukip Calypso and withdraws it from sale
Disney announces new female-led film Moana
Eight seconds of white noise is top of the Canadian iTunes chart because people love Taylor Swift that much
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Sensitive, silly and sensational
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991 with most Brits wanting to stay in'