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Tomás Ó Sé meets AP McCoy: 'I'm the most insecure person in the world. But on a horse, I'm good'

 

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AP McCoy in front of his statue which was unveiled prior to the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park in 2017 - McCoy received a knighthood for his services to racing in 2016. Photo: Sportsfile

AP McCoy in front of his statue which was unveiled prior to the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park in 2017 - McCoy received a knighthood for his services to racing in 2016. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

AP McCoy in front of his statue which was unveiled prior to the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park in 2017 - McCoy received a knighthood for his services to racing in 2016. Photo: Sportsfile

Maybe four years ago, I sat next to AP McCoy at a rugby club function in Armagh. If I'm honest, my heart sank a little when I saw the seating arrangements. I've a broad enough interest in most sports, but horse racing wouldn't be one of them. For sure, I've always been fascinated by the courage of jump jockeys especially, but wouldn't have a clue about what it is that distinguishes a hurdler from a chaser.

And to me, McCoy always gave the impression of being an absolute obsessive, a man whose greatness came from a cold singularity of purpose that probably precluded any wider interests.

Having found myself laughing out loud for much of the drive north in the company of rugby legend John 'Bull' Hayes, I now presumed the night was about to drag.