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Tony McCoy celebrates with his family

Tony McCoy celebrates with his family after his milestone victory

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

McCoy pays tribute to 'amazing' rival Johnson

THE day after hitting the 4,000 winners milestone Tony McCoy paid tribute to his long-running rival Richard Johnson, attributing much of his famously unrelenting drive to succeed to the pressure he has felt from Johnson throughout his career.

"One of the things when I came home last night I thought about was that there were a couple of people I didn't mention enough," McCoy said in an interview on talkSPORT on Friday morning.

"One was Martin Pipe and the late David Johnson, who I rode a lot of winners for, but Richard Johnson is the most amazing bloke.

"He's ridden 2,500 winners or thereabouts and I owe a lot of my success to him as he's kept me honest and working hard for the last 18 or 19 years. He's a fantastic lad and he would never let you slack, he'd make sure you worked hard every day."

McCoy also said his biggest concern with attempting to ride 5,000 winners was not the risk of injury or the punishing lifestyle, but rather people questioning his sanity.

"I'm going to be 40 in May and there are not actually many jumps jockeys still around at 40 so if I was to try and reach 5,000 winners it would mean I'd have to be around until I was 45 and I'd be worried that people might think I'm not right in the head," he said.

"I know they probably think that anyway, but I'd be more concerned they didn't think I was mentally sane or stable."

Some might be doubting his sanity today. Only 24 hours after bringing up the monumental milestone McCoy will swing his leg over Forthefunofit at Southwell (3.45pm), where he goes for just one ride, rather than taking the day off with his family for his daughter Eve's birthday.

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