Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Tony McCoy nets windfall for punters

Jockey Tony McCoy on Don?t Push It romped to his first victory in the Grant National
Jockey Tony McCoy on Don?t Push It romped to his first victory in the Grant National

Bookmakers were the only ones in Northern Ireland not celebrating Tony McCoy's Grand National triumph, with the Co Antrim jockey estimated to have cost them more than £500,000.

A leading turf accountant claimed that a fifth of all local bets placed on the Aintree showpiece were backing the 35-year-old Moneyglass man to finally win the big one at the 15th time of asking.

And a late flurry of bets on the champion jump jockey's mount Don't Push It saw his price fall from 20/1 to 10/1 favourite in the hour before the race.

While McCoy's win is believed to have cost bookmakers £10 million across the UK, the industry in his homeland was particular badly hit, according to William Hill.

"It is a black-armband day for the betting industry," said Tony Kenny, spokesman for William Hill.

"Time and time again, McCoy heaps misery on the bookmakers, and this time he has done it on the biggest stage.

"The payouts in our shops in Northern Ireland will continue long into the night."

William Hill have now installed Tony McCoy as a 10/1 chance for BBC's Sports personality of the year.

South Antrim Assembly member Thomas Burns congratulated the local champ.

The SDLP representative, who was involved in a Stormont reception for the jockey last year, said: "This is a tremendous victory for the masterly Tony McCoy."

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