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National punters pin their hopes on jockey McCoy

By Victoria O'Hara

Thousands of punters from across Northern Ireland will be placing their bets on local hero Tony McCoy being first past the post at today's Grand National.

The Co Antrim-born champion jockey will be among 40 runners and riders competing in the world's most famous horse race at Aintree this afternoon.

McCoy will be keeping his fingers crossed that he will be able to ride the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Butler's Cabin to claim his first National win. Last night odds for him to scoop the prestigious horse racing sat at 16-1.

However, other favourites tipped with a winning chance are Cloudy Lane, Comply or Die, Slim Pickings and Chelsea Harbour.

Bookmakers William Hill estimate £500,000 will be gambled across all sports this weekend in the UK for the first time ever.

Sean Lynch, trading manager from Ladbrokes Northern Ireland, said: "The buzz is starting to build up and we expect it to be non-stop. For the non-punter this is probably the biggest day in horse racing."

Mr Lynch said a lot of punters are placing their money on Tony McCoy to win.

"I think a lot of money will be put on Butler's Cabin by people from Northern Ireland, there is a lot of support for McCoy."

The 12-time champion jockey has failed to win the race and is desperate for a bit of luck.

"If you've been dominant in any sport and haven't won one of the big events, then it is seen as a bit of a failure," he told the BBC.

"So I would like to put that to bed as quickly as possible."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph