Racing: Scudamore eclipsed by McCoy

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The Independent Online
Tony McCoy, the champion National Hunt jockey, reached a century of winners in a season faster than any rider in jump racing history yesterday when he partnered Class Of Ninetytwo to victory in a handicap chase at Warwick. He beat the previous record, held by Peter Scudamore and set in both 1988 and 1989, by 30 days.

Were he not such a consummate sportsman, however, Scudamore might be tempted to demand a stewards' inquiry, since McCoy's achievement rests on the date of his 100th winner, rather than the number of days taken to ride it. The recent introduction of National Hunt racing during the summer, with the season deemed to start in June rather than August, has moved the goalposts significantly, and while McCoy needed 331 rides to reach three figures, Scudamore took just 290 in 1989.

None the less, yesterday's new mark will be seen as the latest milestone in a British riding career which has yet to reach its third birthday. McCoy claimed his first senior riders' title at the end of last season, just 12 months after running away with the championship for conditional jockeys, and at 22 is already established as one of the finest pilots of his generation.

"Three years ago I couldn't imagine getting 100 rides, let alone 100 winners," McCoy said. "If I can keep up the momentum, retaining the title is the big aim, and it would be nice to ride some big winners along the way too."

Martin Pipe, the champion trainer, played a leading role in the record- breaking season of both Scudamore and McCoy, and with his assistance, Scudamore's most impressive achievement, the 221 winners he rode in a single season, may also be within McCoy's reach.

"Obviously Peter was an unbelievable rider and it is fantastic to beat the record that he set," McCoy said. "My main concern is staying in one piece but if things go well I'd have a go at beating his 221."

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