Tony McCoy tipped for BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Bookies cut odds on racing legend to lift sports personality trophy on home turf
Can the man from Moneyglass scoop the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award on home turf?
The recently retired 20-time champion jockey Tony 'AP' McCoy is among the bookies' top three favourites to win the main BBC SPOTY award at a ceremony to be staged in Belfast just before Christmas.
But after celebrating his Tour de France victory at the weekend, Chris Froome is the William Hill favourite at 3/1 alongside Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, while McCoy's odds have been cut to 9/2.
McCoy dominated jump racing for two decades, clocking up more than 4,000 winners.
The Berkshire-based 41-year-old - who made his final racecourse appearance at Sandown in April - is a hero among sports fans across the UK and Ireland so could do very well in the public vote, which ultimately decides the winner. A panel featuring the great and good of the sports world decides who makes the official shortlist.
A BBC spokeswoman confirmed the main candidates would be revealed later this year. The televised awards ceremony, hosted by Gary Lineker, takes place at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on December 20.
Antrim and Newtownabbey Mayor Thomas Hogg told the Belfast Telegraph it would be a perfect night for Northern Ireland if McCoy won the award on home turf. "Tony McCoy is regarded as a real hero in the borough because of his sporting achievements," the DUP man said.
UUP councillor Roderick Swann agreed. "Tony McCoy is one of our sporting legends in the gallery at Antrim Forum and was awarded the Freedom of Antrim a few years ago," he said. "He has achieved so much in sport. It would be brilliant to see a home-grown person win BBC Sports Personality of the Year."
Olympic pentathlete Dame Mary Peters won the title in 1972 and boxing legend Barry McGuigan topped the vote in 1985, as did McCoy in 2010. Dungannon golfer Darren Clarke has been runner-up twice.
Rory McIlroy was tipped to win last year after he secured two Majors in 2014 but the Holywood golfer was beaten by Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.
Top five bookies favourites to win BBC SPOTY
3/1 Chris Froome
3/1 Lewis Hamilton
9/2 Tony McCoy
10/1 Katarina Johnson-Thompson
14/1 Andy Murray