Racegoers get last chance to catch McCoy at Kelso

Legendary champion jockey AP McCoy, who is set to hang up his boots at the end of this season, will be in action at Kelso Racecourse today.

The Ulsterman is booked to ride the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Holywell in the Ivan Straker Memorial chase at 3.30pm.

His shock retirement announcement at Newbury on Saturday stunned the racing world, bringing an end to one of the most remarkable sporting careers in modern history.

Local racegoers have the chance to see McCoy in action as he bids for his 20th jockeys championship.

Kelso racecourse chairman Johnny Jeffreys and proprietor, the Duke of Roxburghe, will make a presentation to McCoy during the afternoon.

Jeffreys said: “It will be an historic occasion when A. P. McCoy, the outstanding sportsman of his generation, makes what is expected to be his last appearance at the course.

“We are absolutely thrilled that he will ride here again before retiring and are sure that he’ll receive a rapturous farewell from everyone at the course.”

Today’s fixture features the Timeform Morebattle Hurdle race, one of the season’s highlights. Of the 14 entries received, at the time of going to press, Sandy Thomson’s Seeyouatmidnight, who is being aimed at the World Hurdle, is worthy of note, as the Greenlaw stable is in great form.

This is the second year that the Ivan Staker Memorial has been staged at Kelso and leading Gold Cup hope Holywell is among some quality entries with Nicky Henderson, who landed the race last year with Long Run, hoping to defend his title with Grand National hope Rajdhani Express.

The Monteith family, headed by Sheila Monteith and joined by Dennis Coppola, support the interactive race. This is a new initiative introduced by the BHA to try and help reduce small fields and allows local trainers to make suggestions for the type of race to be staged. Another initiative introduced by the BHA is the reduction in race numbers on some cards.

Twenty-four of Kelso’s annual members sponsor the novice hurdle race.