Chanelle McCoy: All those nights AP went hungry were worth it but there are lonely days ahead
Tony McCoy "richly deserved" the rousing send-off he received at Sandown, according to the rider's wife, Chanelle.
The 40-year-old brought down the house in Esher, despite having to settle for third aboard both Mr Mole in the bet365 AP McCoy Celebration Chase and Box Office in the bet365 Handicap Hurdle.
McCoy was cheered at every stage of the day by a sell-out Sandown crowd, enjoying one last bow as he walked back to the unsaddling enclosure for the final time.
On what was an emotional afternoon for McCoy, and his family and friends in particular, Mrs McCoy felt the crowd's appreciation justified the hard work and deprivation the rider has endured to stay at the top of the sport for the past 20 years.
"It's amazing here. The reception he's got, the send-off, is absolutely incredible," she said.
"He might be a bit embarrassed about it, and a bit shy, but it's richly deserved.
"He's so dedicated to his sport. It shows a lot about him - he's so humble about it all.
"I think he's enjoyed this last six weeks, and I think that's great.
"All those nights he went hungry, I just think it's all been worth it.
"There will be lonely and empty days ahead of him, but at the moment he's just looking at the positives."
McCoy's father, Peadar, could barely contain his emotions after his son called time on what has been a truly remarkable career.
"It's very sad and I'll miss it," he said.
"It's unbelievable, the respect he has from everybody. It (his career) was a dream come true.
"It's been absolutely brilliant and he could not have asked for a better reception.
"I have never seen anything like this before in my life.
"I wasn't really nervous, I was just very emotional, especially watching The Morning Line this morning and then the reception he got.
"It will not be easy for him for a month or two as he will have to get used to settling down and I don't know what he's going to do next.
"Years ago he did say about training horses, but that was only if he had four or five good owners to do it.
Of his son's final race, McCoy snr added: "He got a very good run.
"I thought two out he was going to win the race but they just moved clear and quickened up ahead of him, but the main thing was that he got round."