1. ITV Report

McCoy statue to be unveiled at Cheltenham

Northern Ireland racing legend Sir Tony 'AP' McCoy. Credit: Presseye

A statue of record-breaking jockey Sir Tony McCoy will be unveiled on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

The life-size bronze of the most successful jockey jump racing has ever known will be situated on the Best Mate Plaza by the north entrance to the racecourse and will be revealed on 14 March.

Sir Tony took to Twitter to say he was honoured and humbled by the tribute.

“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,” he joked.

It was crafted by Dublin-based sculptor Paul Ferriter, who boasts an extensive portfolio including the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner War Of Attrition and leading golfers.

“Paul has done really well in sculpturing me as a jockey and it was a very enjoyable working with him,” Sir Tony added.

“His dedication to getting it right was really outstanding.”

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

– Sir Tony McCoy

Ferriter said he met Sir Tony a few times before returning to his studio with a set of his racing silks.

“AP was very easy to work with and very likeable,” he said.

“For me, as a sculptor, he was a brilliant subject. AP has a really great face with incredible cheekbones, a great jaw and chin, as well as really good hair.”

He added: “He is also a really funny guy and was incredibly obliging throughout the process.

“In terms of the piece, what I really wanted to try and capture was the kind of intensity that AP has, his total dedication.

“I have basically produced the classic AP pose - standing with his arms folded and the whip under his arm, with an intense look on his face.

“It is a pre-race pose, lost in maybe that pre-race anxiety and always looking to the future.”

Sir Tony McCoy celebrating one of his many race wins. Credit: Presseye