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The Punter: Surprise, surprise, Tony McCoy is man to beat again

Tony McCoy

Tony McCoy ended the jumps season last Saturday with his 16th successive jockeys' title and is a very short favourite to make it 17 as the next season got under way the following day.

But to liven things up on the betting front, the layers have set a handicap market with AP giving his rivals a start. Nothing unusual in that as he beats everyone else by considerable margins and lately, was 67 in front of his nearest rival Richard Johnson.

Tony, quoted at 10-1 off a mark of scratch, is set to give the likes of Ruby Walsh and Paddy Brennan a start of 120 winners and Jason Maguire 75. Johnson who gets better each year and is unlucky to have McCoy around to prevent him landing just one championship, is allowed 35.

Ruby only had 26 winners in Britain in 106 rides in the previous campaign and his dual role in Ireland and England, plus injury worries, works against him

Maguire ended last week with 95 victories but even if he matched that by next April, on the handicap, he would total only 170.

Considering McCoy who had 218 winners last time, is almost certain, barring accidents, to surpass the 200 mark once again, he has to be a cracking bet at 10-1.

2011/2012 National Hunt Jockeys' Handicap 10-1: EW 1,2,3: (Only 14 jockeys count): AP McCoy (scratch); R Johnson (+35); J Maguire (+75); R Thornton (+75); D Jacob (+90); S Twiston-Davies (+95); P Moloney (+95); N Fehily (+100); G Lee (+110); T Scudamore (+115); B Hughes (+115); B Geraghty (+115); P Brennan (+120); R Walsh (+120).

Belfast Telegraph