AP McCoy will ride favourite Catching On in Saturday’s Betfred Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter.
The Champion Jockey will be the star attraction as he saddles the Jonjo O’Neill-trained horse in the day’s big race.
Following the announcement that McCoy will be retiring at the end of the season, this may well be the last time the 19 time Champion Jockey races at Uttoxeter.
And with the absence of trainer David Pipe, who has won for the past four years, the stage is set for McCoy to win his second Midlands National following his winning ride on Synchronised in 2010.
David MacDonald, Executive Director of Uttoxeter Racecourse, told StaffsLive that McCoy’s presence at the race comes as a big boost to the Staffordshire-based course.
He said: “I think he (McCoy) is the greatest jump jockey that there has ever been and I don’t think that anything AP McCoy has achieved will be repeated.
“So knowing that this could be his very last race at Uttoxeter and definitely his last Midlands Grand National, it will certainly pull the crowds in and there will be huge media interest in it so we are really pleased that the legend is going to be here.”
McCoy leaves the sport with an incomparable honours list including the unprecedented feat of being Champion Jockey in every season he has been professional.
And MacDonald recognises the legacy that the departing McCoy will leave on Uttoxeter and horse racing as a whole.
“I don’t think, from a personal perspective, that Uttoxeter will ever be the same (without McCoy),” he added.
“It just won’t be the same without seeing his face around here.
“He will be a huge loss to horse racing and I can’t see anyone, certainly in my lifetime, achieving 20 Champion Jockey titles in a row.”
(picture courtesy of Citrus Zest, creative commons licence)