Champion jockey adds winning brace to stunning record

Tony McCoy: I’m very privileged to have the job I have now’

Minella Foru was career-winner 4,002 for Tony McCoy when maintaining his unbeaten record at Navan yesterday, but the horse looks destined to become known as a lot more than another statistical footnote in the jockey’s career.

The Grade Three Boylesports For Auction Novice Hurdle has a track record of unearthing future stars and bookmakers were quick to make Minella Foru a 16 to 1 shot for the Neptune at Cheltenham in March after he defeated odds-on favourite Very Wood.

Cheltenham hope

Very Wood was a reluctant leader, persistently jumping to his right. But once the pace increased it was Minella Foru that quickened best to keep trainer Eddie Harty's big-race dream alive.

“If he’s going to be a good horse the Spring is when you want them and he has a long way to become that. But he has done everything well there in a messy race,” said Harty.


McCoy finished third on Harty's Captain Cee Bee in his only other ride of the day for owner JP McManus after Marlbrook was taken out of the Beginners Chase due to the ground. Marlbrook's trainer, Colm Murphy, was fined €200 for the late withdrawal.

McCoy received a warm reception on his first trip to Ireland since notching 4,000 winners last week and also received a cheque from the big-race sponsors towards the Jockeys Emergency Fund of €4,002 – a euro for each winner.

“I’m very flattered with all the attention . . . It has been very kind of people,” said McCoy, who again noted the importance of his job with owner JP McManus. “I’m very privileged . . . As a jockey you always want to wear the green and gold colours.”

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column