Cheltenham Racecourse statue for jump jockey AP McCoy

Sir Tony McCoy Image copyright Cheltenham Racecourse/PA
Image caption The sculptor complimented McCoy on his "incredible cheekbones"

The 10-time champion jockey Sir Tony McCoy is being immortalised in bronze for a new statue at Cheltenham Racecourse.

The life-sized statue will be unveiled on the opening day of the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival next month.

Dublin-based sculptor Paul Ferriter is creating the artwork for the north entrance to the racecourse.

Sir Tony, from Moneyglass, was champion jump jockey a record 20 times and rode 4,358 winners during his career.

'Bird perch'

He retired at the end of the 2014-15 season and is now a TV racing pundit.

"I last saw Paul's work about seven weeks ago, just before it was about to get bronzed and it looked very, very good," he said.

"Some of my friends were wondering whether the statue was going to be the old or new me - the 10-stone one or the 12-stone one.

"I thought most people got a statue when they were dead. I guess it will give the birds somewhere to sit."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir Tony's 4,000th victory came at Towcester Racecourse in 2013

The former rider won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 2010 and a lifetime achievement award in the 2015 ceremony.

He was a "brilliant subject" according to the sculptor and very easy to work with.

"AP has a really great face with incredible cheekbones, a great jaw and chin as well as really good hair," said Mr Ferriter.

"He is also a really funny guy and was incredibly obliging throughout the process."

Profile: Sir Tony McCoy

  • Born: Moneyglass, County Antrim, 4 May 1974
  • Full name: Anthony Peter McCoy
  • First winner: Legal Steps at Tipperary, 26 March 1992 (aged 17)
  • 4,000th career winner: Mountain Tunes, Towcester, 7 November 2013
  • Height: 5ft 10.5in

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