Sunday 25 September 2016

Champion jockey AP McCoy saddles up for donkey derby comeback

Published 18/09/2015 | 11:40

AP McCoy is returning to the saddle for a donkey derby
AP McCoy is returning to the saddle for a donkey derby

Twenty time champion jockey AP McCoy has told fans not to expect a winner when he saddles up for a surprise comeback.

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If the announcement of the retired legend's return to the track comes as a shock to punters, even more of a surprise is the mount he has chosen for his return - a donkey.

It won't quite be Aintree, as the Grand National winner competes in a charity donkey derby in his home village of Moneyglass in Northern Ireland.

The fun race in Co Antrim next Saturday is being run as part of a day of events to mark McCoy's extraordinary sporting career.

"It's always great to go back to Moneyglass," said McCoy.

"This gives me the opportunity to thank the locals who followed my career since my very early days as a young jockey - they supported me for 20 years.

"Though they could be disappointed if they are coming to witness me win this race. But I'm looking forward to it. It should be a great day."

The day will focus around the bar that members of the McCoy family manage in Moneyglass - The Tumbledown.

Kilkenny All-Ireland winning star hurler Eoin Larkin will also jump in the saddle for the race while bantamweight world boxing champion Carl Frampton is also set to make an appearance during the day.

After the race the sporting greats will hold a question and answer session for fans, with McCoy set to talk about the forthcoming movie about his life.

The film, Being AP, is a fly-on-the-wall documentary charting McCoy's final year as a professional jockey.

Directed by triple-Bafta Award-winner and Emmy nominated Anthony Wonke, it is due to hit cinema screens across Ireland in November.

All proceeds raised on the day will be donated to the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice.

McCoy's sister Anne-Marie is one of the managers of the Tumbledown Bar.

She said her brother's famed competitive streak had not waned in retirement.

"He hesitated initially, but it didn't take much persuasion and he said he would do it," she said.

"You'd think he'll be wanting to win it, but there'll be others competing against him wanting to beat him."

Press Association

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