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Tony McCoy votes for racing

Tony McCoy feels racing would be the big winner if the legendary jockey is named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

The 15-times champion rider insists any personal kudos at claiming the coveted accolade would be outweighed by the promotional impact it would have on his sport.

Speaking at a Racing for Change press day, designed to advertise McCoy's credentials as a leading contender for the award, McCoy said: “Rather than it being a personal honour, I would see it as a huge thing for racing itself.

“From my point of view, it's a massive thing to be mentioned in the same breath as other sports stars, but I see it as a bigger honour for racing.”

McCoy is short-priced favourite to win the 2010 Sports Personality of the Year, which will be staged in Birmingham at the LG Arena on Sunday, December 19.

He leapt to the head of the market when finally ending his winless hex in the John Smith's Grand National after Don't Push It struck at Aintree in April.

McCoy added: “Frankie Dettori is the biggest icon we have to offer, but if by me winning the Grand National means more people are interested in the sport, that can only be a good thing.

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“Winning the National was obviously an aim — I'd had 15 goes at it until it finally happened.

“It hasn't made me a better jockey, but it does make me feel more complete.

“I suppose I will have a different feeling going into the National this year.

“I've always been far more relaxed about it than the people writing about it, but at the end of the day, it is still the Grand National and one of the greatest sporting events in the world.

“There will always be butterflies.”

Meanwhile, Berties Dream finished fourth on his fencing debut in the WB Gavin & Co EBF Beginners Chase at Galway yesterday.

The Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle hero jumped really well on his first start for 220 days, but was outmuscled by Jessies Dream along the punishing home straight.

In what looked an informative renewal of the two-mile-six-furlong contest, Corskeagh Royale stayed in for second.

Venalmar, meanwhile, was fresh from a pleasing return from injury at Navan in September and came home third as the 7-4 favourite.

Paul Gilligan will nonetheless be highly satisfied with Berties Dream.

The seven-year-old gelding was always close to the pace, initiated by Boxing Along, before gaining a narrow lead three out in the hands of Andrew Lynch.

That advantage was lengthened with a clean leap at the last, with those who had invested in him winning seemingly sitting pretty.

But Berties Dream perhaps understandably ran out of fuel, which paved the way clear for Jessies Dream (3-1) to grasp the glory.


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