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AP McCoy favourite for BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in Belfast

By Martin Kelly

Published 30/04/2015

Expert view: Tony McCoy (right) chats to Ryanair boss and racehorse owner Michael O’Leary at the Punchestown Festival
Expert view: Tony McCoy (right) chats to Ryanair boss and racehorse owner Michael O’Leary at the Punchestown Festival

AP McCoy has been cut from 7-2 to 2-1 favourite to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year after it was announced the ceremony will be held in Belfast for the first time.

McCoy, who retired on Saturday at Sandown after being crowned champion jockey for the 20th successive time, was made favourite by William Hill but is still available at up to 5-1 in places.

The Ulsterman became the first — and so far only — jockey to win the award when he collected the coveted prize in 2010 following his emotional Grand National success on board Don’t Push It.

The win came at his 15th attempt in the Aintree spectacular, the public then sweeping McCoy to victory in the race for the BBC prize.

McCoy — who turns 41 on Monday and has ridden a record 4,348 winners in a glittering career — has been an interested spectator at this week’s Punchestown Festival.

Limato turned in the performance of a sprinter going places after maintaining his unbeaten record with a smooth victory in the Merriebelle Stable Pavilion Stakes at Ascot.

The three-year-old erased his trainer Henry Candy’s fears that he had not shown the same sparkle that saw him register four successive victories last season when looking every inch a star in the making on his first foray into Pattern company.

Candy said: “He was very rusty and he’s had a real good blow after that. (Jockey) James (Doyle) was quite forceful early on and the penny then seemed to drop.

“I think he’s probably as exciting as before and I’m just relieved,” he added.

“We’ll keep an open mind about having another run before coming back here for the Commonwealth Cup.”

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