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Tuesday, 2 April, 2002, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
McCoy v Richards
Champion jockeys Sir Gordon Richards and Tony McCoy
As jockey Tony McCoy celebrates eclipsing Sir Gordon Richards' record of 269 winners in a season, BBC Sport Online's Frank Keogh looks at their contrasting careers.

Jump jockey Tony McCoy has made history by breaking the 55-year-record for the number of winners in a season, set by Sir Gordon Richards on the Flat.

McCoy, like Richards, has been saluted as the best rider of his generation.

But how do their achievements, in separate disciplines and at different ages, compare? BBC Sport Online looks at their track records.


SIR GORDON RICHARDS

Richards: In profile
Born: 1904, Shropshire, England
Main trainers: Fred Darling, Noel Murless
Champion Flat jockey: 26 times
Classic victories

English 2,000 Guineas: 3 (Pasch 1938, Big Game 1942, Tudor Minstrel 1947)
1,000 Guineas: 3 (Sun Chariot 1942, Queenpot 1948, Belle Of All 1951)
Epsom Derby: 1 (Pinza 1953)
Oaks: 2 (Rose of England 1930, Sun Chariot 1942)
St Leger: 5 (Singapore 1930, Chulmleigh 1937, Turkhan 1940, Sun Chariot 1942, Tehran 1944)

Background: One of 12 children. Son of a miner.

Awards: Only professional jockey to be knighted.

Talent: Rode with a loose rein, perfect balance, coaxed maximum effort from his horses.

Career wins: 4,870

Season best: 269, 1947

Achievement: Figure was thought unlikely to be surpassed. A modern-day Flat jockey would be hailed for passing the 200 mark.

Timespan: Clocked up winners in a short season, mainly during the summer months.

Obstacles: Did not have the benefit of motorways, helicopters or evening fixtures to maximise his winning potential.

Missing from CV: Epsom Derby. Until he finally won the world's most famous Flat race at the 28th attempt. Triumphed on Pinza in 1953 five days after being knighted, at the time of Coronation celebrations.

Punter's view: Admired for his energy, honesty and determination.


TONY McCOY

McCoy: In profile
Born: 4/5/74, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland
Main trainer: Martin Pipe

Champion jump jockey: Six times

Major race victories

King George VI Chase: 0 (Best finish 2nd, Challenger du Luc 1997, Best Mate 2001)
Champion Hurdle: 1 (Make A Stand 1997)
Queen Mother Champion Chase: 1 (Edredon Bleu 2000)
Cheltenham Gold Cup: 1 (Mr Mulligan 1997)
Grand National: 0 (Best finish 3rd, Blowing Wind 2001)

Background: Born in Northern Ireland. Father Peadar bred a winner at the Cheltenham Festival.

Awards: Northern Ireland's Sportsman of the Year. Racing observers shocked he was not shortlisted for the BBC Sports Personality award in 2001.

Talent: Granite will to win, great riding composure, all-action style, stops at nothing in a tight finish.

Season best: (Before 2001/02) 253, 1997/8

Achievement: Racked up more than double the amount of victories than nearest rival in 2001/02, winning on an average of one in three mounts.

Timespan: National Hunt season now runs all year round, although only moves into top gear between November and April. Bad weather in winter months leads to postponements.

Obstacles: Suspensions for riding offences are commonplace in the modern era, and jump jockeys are at particular risk from injuries.

Missing from CV: The Grand National. McCoy is still waiting to win the world's most famous jump race. Only finish in the race came in 2001 after remounting Blowing Wind to come third.

Punter's view: Many know McCoy by his initials AP (Anthony Peter). Trusted to try his heart out. No cause is a lost one.

Tony McCoy has beaten Sir Gordon Richards' record of 269 winners in a season

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