Harrington hoping AP can end on a high note

Tony McCoy
Tony McCoy
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Jessica Harrington feels it would be the stuff of fairytales if Tony McCoy could sign off his final Cheltenham Festival in a blaze of glory.

The County Kildare trainer would like to see the ultimate professional add to his incredible record by making his mark in the championship races at jump racing’s flagship meeting next month, before he retires after a record-breaking riding career.

“I hope that he wins all the big races from now until he retires because he’s pushed the bar of endurance and everything to do with racing and riding beyond any limit that’s been before,” said Harrington, whose Jezki will be ridden by McCoy in the Champion Hurdle.

“It would be a fairytale if he could win a couple of the championship races at Cheltenham in his last year.

“He’s an amazing jockey – a fantastic rider – and the thought he puts into each race is amazing.

“He treats each horse as an individual, he thinks about all his horses and that’s what his obsession is. That’s why he is so good.”

Meanwhile another Irish legend Kieren Fallon claims he will only return to ride in Britain if he is offered good rides at the biggest meetings.

Fallon is currently in California and while the winners have hardly been flowing he has felt rejuvenated in his new surroundings. The six-times champion jockey turns 50 this weekend, but has no immediate plans to retire.

He will, though, head to Dubai for the conclusion of the current Carnival.

“I’m really enjoying it. There’s no travelling. Everyone wants to look after you here,” he said.

Fallon started last season in a blaze of glory, winning the 2000 Guineas on Night Of Thunder. He then became a go-to man for Saeed bin Suroor but by the end of the year Godolphin had signed up James Doyle and William Buick.

As for any chance of a return to England, Fallon would only be tempted be a realistic contender in the Guineas, having won either the fillies’ or the colts’ version nine times.

“If I had a good ride for the big meetings and the Classics, then I could go back and ride in them. But other than that? No,” he said.

“I’d still love to go back and try and win the Guineas again, you know, if there’s a Guineas ride. It’s such a lucky race for me. I mean, how many times have I won them, the 1000 and 2000 Guineas?”

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“I just don’t know what it was. You can be hot and cold. After Royal Ascot I just don’t know what - it’s so hard to explain,” said Fallon.

While winners have been hard to come by in the States, Fallon finds himself sharing a weighing room with some great names.

Fallon said: “It’s not only that there are so many jockeys here. All the best jockeys are here.”

He added: “But I didn’t come out here thinking I was going to take off straight away. I came out here for experience and to learn something more.

“I’ve decided to go there (Dubai) for a little bit. There’s only six or so weeks left (of the Carnival). The best six weeks, though, so I think I would be a little silly if I didn’t go there, you know.”

Trainer John Best.

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