Betfair Price Rush Chase
(Registered as the Game Spirit Chase)
Grade 2 Handicap, Newbury 15:00
£50,000 added, 5yo plus,
2m 1f, Class 1  
Saturday 7th February 2015

Non-Runner No Bet – Cheltenham Festival
All Betfair Customers

1 Mr Mole 7/2
2 Upsilon Bleu 8/1
3 Karinga Dancer 14/1
5 ran Distances: 13l, 12l
TIME 4m 9.30s (slow by 7.30s)

Mr Mole brings up Tony McCoy's 200th winner this season

Sire De Grugy made a few dodgy jumping mistakes before he unseated Jamie Moore. Uxizandre unseated Barry Geraghty at the last

Tony McCoy announces his retirement at the end of the season

AP McCoy & Mr Mole
© Racehorse Photos

AP McCoy & Mr Mole

Nobody could have predicted beforehand quite what a race the Grade Two Betfair Price Rush would turn out to be.

All eyes beforehand had been on last season's Queen Mother Champion Chase hero and 10/11 favourite Sire De Grugy, who unseated Jamie Moore three fences from home.

The 7/2 chance Mr Mole, who lost ground after whipping round at the start, came home the winner under 19-time champion A P McCoy, who shocked everyone after the race by announcing he would retire at the end of the season. It was McCoy's 200th winner of the current season.

McCoy said after the race: "It's going to be the last time that I ride 200 winners because, having spoken to Dave (Roberts, agent) and J P (McManus), I am going to be retiring at the end of the season.

"I want to go out at the top and I want to go out as champion jockey. It will be my 20th year, if I can win the jockeys' championship, and I want to go out while I still enjoy riding and while I am still relatively at the top.

"J P and Dave are the only people that I had spoken to - Chanelle (his wife) didn't even know until I had Dave down on Monday night to have a chat about it.

"Before that, J P was the only person I had spoken to about it. My mum and dad don't even know, they are going to find out on television, and I think they will be happy, to be fair."

Talking about Mr Mole, McCoy said: "He just jinked at the tape and whipped round.

"I was going to make the running and then I decided that I better change the plan and take my time. He did it well in the end and fair play to Paul Nicholls - he hasn't half helped the horse improve. He had a lot more belief in the horse than I ever had.

"You might as well have a go at the Queen Mother. He was very impressive there, liked the bit of better ground and his attitude has changed but that's all down to the trainer."

McCoy, 40, is set to win his 20th consecutive Jump jockeys' championship in April.

He commented later in the day: "I have been very lucky to have a great way of life for the last 25 years. It was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to retire when I was champion jockey - I thought 20 championships is a good number. Time waits for no man in sports and it wasn't going to wait for me.

"I got Dave Roberts, my agent, down on Monday night. And J P (McManus) was the only other person I really spoke about it to. My wife Chanelle did not really know what the conversation with Dave was going to be about.

"Having spoken to Dave, I decided the right thing to do was to retire at the end of the season but to announce it before. We thought to ride 200 winners was a good achievement and that would be a good time to announce it then.

"Normally, you would just retire and give up. Dave though it best, and J P thought it a good idea, that I announce it beforehand so people could come and abuse me for one last time. I think all the decisions I have made in my life, I have made myself.

"I have been lucky that I have had really good people to bounce things off, like Dave or Chanelle or whoever and had very good advice but at the end of the day decisions in my life have always been my decisions.

"What is the best decision you have ever made? To become a jockey was the best decision I ever made. I have had a great way of life and I will really miss it. My mum and dad have no idea - they wanted me to retire so I thought they would probably get more satisfaction out of hearing it on television.

"I love riding, I love the thrill of it. I just hopped off the ground from Goodwood Mirage which is part of the job. In some ways, I will miss that. I am probably the only person in the world who will miss bouncing myself off the ground.

"That is what challenges you in life a little bit. It is what has challenged me for the last 25 years. I will miss it. I will never find anything that will replace that buzz. I am aware of it but in sport, you cannot keep on forever.

"There are so many people to thank, obviously my mum and dad , the late Billy Rock, the late Toby Balding, his wife, Jim Bolger, Martin Pipe, obviously J P and Noreen (McManus) have been fantastic, all the horses, all the stable lads, all the ambulance drivers and the doctors who have picked me up so many times over the years, lads who have driven me around the country, lads in the weighing room who have been great colleagues, my valets who look after me every day, so many people and obviously Dave Roberts who has been with me from the day I have been here (in Britain). There have been a lot of people who have made it all possible."

Paul Nicholls said:"It's been a pleasure to have anything to do with A P and he gave that horse a peach of a ride considering he gave them 10 lengths at the start. He has been a great ambassador for the sport and no-one can say enough about him.

"This has taken me a bit by surprise but it doesn't surprise me totally because you have to make a decision one day and he has probably decided that it is the right one.

"Everybody will miss him riding because he has been such a legend but you can't go on forever. He is still riding as well as he has ever ridden and that's probably the right time to go out.

"I was talking to Toby Balding one day at Exeter and he said that, if I wanted to use a very good claimer, A P was the best one he had ever had. I just remember those words and we used him a few times - he rode for us when I had just started but we didn't have enough horses going at the time to keep him and he went to ride all those winners for Martin Pipe. He was a great guy to deal with and a brilliant jockey.  

"I thought today was Mr Mole's Champion Chase but, to give the ground away he did at the start, cruise into the race and be going as well as he did - he is obviously improving.

"The Champion Chase is a possibility. I hadn't really thought about it although it wasn't lost on me that Master Minded had won the same races. The form Mr Mole is in, why not?

"He has always been a bit quirky and a bit naughty - you saw it today at the start. He has just got that bit of character but I have always thought that he was very, very good from day one. It was a bit frustrating last year a couple times when it didn't work out but he has got a lot of confidence now. Once they get confidence and they are winning, it makes a big difference."

Gary Moore, trainer of Sire De Grugy, said: "The horse is fine. I was worried about Jamie but can see he is running now.

"The horse was just careless. He is not the first horse to fall and he certainly won't be the last either. It was too far out to tell what would have happened today.

"We will take him home and give him some schooling and there is no reason why he would not go to Cheltenham.

"At least it has saved him from having a hard race."

Betfair Cash Out Chase
(Registered As The Game Spirit Chase) (Grade 2) (2m1f)
£50,000 added, 5yo plus, 2m 1f, Class 1
5 ran
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places

Pos Dist Horse SP Jockey /Weight Trainer Age
1st Mr Mole (IRE) 7/2 A P McCoy
11-6
P F Nicholls 7
2nd 13 Upsilon Bleu (FR) 8/1 J Reveley
11-4
Miss P Robson 7
3rd 12 Karinga Dancer 14/1 N Fehily
11-0
H Fry 9
UR Sire De Grugy (FR) 9/10f Jamie Moore
11-10
G L Moore 9
UR Uxizandre (FR) 9/2 B J Geraghty
11-10
A King 7

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