AP McCoy stands as a favourite for BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award

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  • Recently retired 20-time champion jockey AP McCoy is currently one of the favourites for the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.

    The jockey bowed out of racing at the 2014-15 National Hunt season finale at Sandown last weekend (25 April), after two decades at the top of his game.

    Despite missing out on victory on his final day in the saddle, AP finished third on his last ever ride and retired on a total of 4,348 winners.

    “I always dreamed of getting out while I was still performing well. I’m going to miss what I do… What I did,” he said. “The most emotional moment was riding in front of the stands [after the last race] with the people clapping and cheering. I almost shed a tear then.”

    And now the Northern Irish jockey is favourite with some bookies to reclaim his SPOTY title.

    The odds for AP to win the award have been slashed from 7-2 to 2-1 with William Hill, ahead of last year’s winner Lewis Hamilton. The pair are joint favourite with Ladbrokes at 4-1, while odds for AP to win the title are longer at 6-1 or 9-2 with other bookies.

    The award ceremony, on 20 December, will be held in Belfast for the first time this year, nominations will be announced in November.

    In 2010 AP became the first jockey to win the award — the year in which he won the Grand National on his 15th attempt aboard Don’t Push It.

    He secured more than 40% of the votes ahead of darts player Phil Taylor and heptathlete Jessica Ennis.

    In 2013 he finished third in the SPOTY race, behind tennis star Andy Murray and rugby player Leigh Halfpenny.

    AP is one of just four equestrians to have won the award — David Broome in 1960, Princess Anne in 1971 and Zara Phillips in 2006. Charlotte Dujardin finished fourth in 2014.

    On Thursday (30 April) AP picked up an award for “outstanding contribution to sport” at the BT Sport Industry Awards, which was presented by footballer Thierry Henry.

    Although no longer riding, AP, who turns 41 tomorrow (Monday 4 May), was spotted back at the races last week – but this time as a spectator at Punchestown. He described it as “very weird”.

    “I’ve never been at a race meeting apart from the flat and not been riding,” he added.

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