Jockeys agent Dave Roberts – renowned for leading Sir Anthony McCoy’s glittering career – has announced he will retire at the end of the week.
Roberts has booked rides for a long list of household names – with four-time champion jockey Richard Johnson, as well as Gold Cup and Grand National winners Adrian Maguire, Richard Guest and Andrew Thornton, just a small sample of his clientele.
However, Roberts is best known for his partnership with 20-time champion McCoy, who broke record after record during his career in the saddle.
roberts said Nick Luck Daily Podcast“I’ve been in the business for 36 years now, from the first jockey, Dean Gallagher, until today.
“I’ve always done my job saying I’ll do it for 12 months and if you’re for the season you’re for the season and the last two months I was just thinking ‘could I do another year of having 365 days of getting up at 5am every day?’
“I think the head said yes, but the body said no. Not that I ever thought I had much common sense, but I think common sense told me to say it was time . It is the right time.
“Obviously I had a great time and I probably feel a bit embarrassed by all the jockeys I’ve been up against and the successes we’ve had. It’s an emotional moment, but I think it’s is definitely the right time.”
Roberts currently has a huge selection of runners under his care, adding: “If you included the conditionals you’d have around 47 or 48 right now – probably a bit more. If you said 50 you’re not going to be far from the mark. I think we hit once in 69 which was quite an effort.
“I’ve always felt there’s a big void in the market for someone who wants to fill this role, as long as you’re willing to put in the hours and commit 365 days a year.”
McCoy is obviously the leading name among Roberts’ clients, with the agent firm confident no one will rival the runner’s achievements, linking himself to a record 4,358 winners in a career that has encompassed success in virtually every major race on the National Hunt calendar.
Roberts said: “I’ve recorded many times, no disrespect to any jockey who rides or starts to ride, but I don’t think anyone will ever hit the numbers they did. It was a very special and a very special person and jockey that you were dealing with. It’s definitely not going to happen in my lifetime, I really don’t think so.
Unsurprisingly, Roberts identified a McCoy moment as a highlight of his long career, with the jockey’s 4,000th success aboard Mountain Tunes in Towcester on November 7, 2013 holding particular significance.
He added: “I think from a personal perspective, when Mountain Tunes won at Towcester, when AP won, that was probably the most important moment for me.
“The day before my dad died and I remember going there, my son drove me there, and I went to the field to see him, like I did when he was breaking records, and he just looked at me, looked up and said “that was for your dad” and it really touched a nerve that i never forgot my dad and AP McCoy were just two of the men most influential in my life.”