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Oct 13, 2014

NEWTON ABBOT FINISH THE SEASON WITH MCCOY TRIBUTE

The end of the racing season at Newton Abbot was celebrated in style on Friday 10th October, with crowds descending on the racecourse to see the unveiling of the much talked about tribute to AP McCoy.

The commissioned sculpture was revealed to crowds by McCoy himself, who was joined by his wife and two children. The bronze statue was commissioned by Newton Abbot Racecourse to recognise McCoy’s impressive achievements in the sport to-date. Last November saw McCoy reach his 4,000th win at Towcester, with the most wins taking place at Newton Abbot. This was followed by his 100 fastest ever wins at Newton Abbot in August this year. He has since gone on to beat Martin Pipe’s record of 4,191 winners.

Speaking of the unveiling, AP McCoy said: “It’s a huge honour. I didn’t think anyone would put a statue of me anywhere. I’d like to say a huge thanks to Patrick Masterson and everyone at Newton Abbot. It’s a great racecourse and to get the prize-money and the races they’ve got on today is a credit to them and they deserve it. It’s always been fantastically well-run. It’s one of the reasons I made sure I came – a lot of other tracks could learn from Newton Abbot.”

Newton Abbot’s Managing Director Patrick Masterson said: “It’s in honour of a legend, really, and we’re so pleased he’s made such an effort to come down. Of his 4,000, he rode more winners here (264 in total) than at any other racecourse, so we wanted that achievement to be remembered forever. My heart sank when he fell at Worcester the day before, but in true McCoy style he battled through to join us for the afternoon.

“This tribute has been almost a year in the making. As an exceptionally busy person, it was hard to pin him down to pose for the sculpture. However, McCoy found time at Newbury Racecourse to sit for photographs and drawings. William Newton has done an amazing job and the finished product is excellent.”

Patrick Masterson went on to discuss the season: “This season at Newton Abbot has been phenomenal. All 18 fixtures have gone ahead and the weather has definitely been on our side. We’ve had excellent attendance across all of our meetings, with some top class horses to finish the season. Being involved in a leisure environment, we strive to provide a great customer experience for all who come through the gates. We make sure that the ground is consistent and dependable to attract the best owners and trainers and we try to ensure that we offer a good prize fund. This year we’re truly outdone ourselves and we’re excited to see what next season brings. ”

The day also saw the Racehorse Owners Association’s popular Owners Jackpot, which gave winning owners the chance to claim a £10,000 bonus on top of their prize money. The tenth of twelve ROA Owners Jackpot meetings of the year, the meeting at Newton Abbot saw £10,000 shared between ROA members who had a winner on the card.

The action didn’t stop there as the Injured Jockey’s Fund joined the day to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Since starting in 1964, the Injured Jockey’s Fund has helped around 1,000 jockeys whose injuries have seen them having to give up the sport. They were there to spread the word about the work they carry out to racegoers on the day.

The South West Racing Club were also involved in the day, where they announced their Horse of the Year for the 2013 / 2014. Around 500 members voted Balthazar Fund as their Horse of the Year, presenting owners Mr and Mrs Butler and Mr and Mrs Rees with a trophy in the Parade Ring.

Friday 10th October saw the end of the 2014 season. Racing will return to Newton Abbot on Wednesday 25th March 2015. For more information on events at the racecourse throughout the remainder of the year visit www.newtonabbtracing.com.