Apart from Richard Johnson, who else finished runner-up to A.P. McCoy in the National Hunt Jockeys’ Championship?
Sir Anthony Peter McCoy, popularly known as ‘A.P.’, was Champion Conditional Jockey in 1994/95 and, thereafter, Champion National Hunt Jockey in each of the 20 seasons he rode as a fully-fledged professional in Britain. Richard Johnson OBE famously finished runner-up in the National Hunt Jockeys’ Championship in 16 of those 20 seasons but, following McCoy’s retirement, at the end of the 2014/15 season, became Champion Jockey himself in 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19. Apart from Johnson, the four other jockeys to play ‘second fiddle’ to the perennial champion were David Bridgwater in 1995/96, Jamie Osbourne in 1997/98, Timmy Murphy in 2004/05 and Jason Maguire in 2012/13.
Bridgwater was, at the time, stable jockey to Martin Pipe, with whom McCoy would subsequently form a partnership that would dominate National Hunt racing for nearly a decade. Likewise, Timmy Murphy also signed a retainer with Champion Owner David Johnson in 2004, replacing McCoy, who left Pipe in favour of a more lucrative retainer with the J.P. McManus operation. Nevertheless, Bridgwater finished 45 winners behind McCoy, Murphy 58 behind and Osbourne and Maguire 44 and 41 winners behind, respectively. In fact, the closest McCoy ever came to being usurped as Champion Jockey was in 2005/06, when Richard Johnson finished 11 winners behind.