Jim Bolger, the man credited with instilling the winning mentality into Tony McCoy as a teenager, insists the retiring champion always had the desire to reach the top.

The 20-time champion jockey McCoy will race the final ride of his career on Saturday at Sandown Park.

Bolger, who has been the mentor for many top jockeys early in their career, has a reputation as a hard taskmaster.

Yet the Co Carlow handler says he only had one cross word with McCoy.

Having broken his leg early on in his career, Bolger felt the jockey would be better suited by staying in Ireland for another season, instead of moving to Britain, where he would join Toby Balding.

That aside, both men have the utmost respect for each other, with McCoy often crediting Bolger for his ultimate professionalism.

"He was a little gentleman at that stage, and it remained that way for the three and a half years he was with me," said Bolger.

"The only difference we ever had was after he broke his femur I wanted him to do another 12 months before he went riding over fences, that was the only difference we had.

"But all's well that ends well, he went jumping fences and everything turned out good for him.

"He always had the will to win, and as soon as he got the opportunities he made it quite clear he was up for the job.

"I would have done very little with him in the line of tutoring, he was well able to ride when he came.

"It was just a question then of him getting the experience that was needed on the track.

"He had a very effective way of doing things and whoever has the same will to win, and if he succeeds in copying what Anthony did, he will be champion jockey as well."