Bookies relieved as punters’ favourite AP McCoy saddles up for final time
Britain’s bookmakers are set to breathe a collective sigh of relief this weekend, when the record-breaking jockey AP McCoy makes his final appearance on a racecourse at Sandown tomorrow, after an extraordinary 20 year career that has seen him win every major prize the sport has to offer.
“Having ridden over 4,000 winners, AP McCoy has been the toast of punters for the last two decades, so often the first name they look for when having a flutter on the racing, and as a result he has been the scourge of the bookies on many occasions, none more so than when winning the Grand National on Don’t Push It five years ago,” said Coral’s David Stevens.
“That victory alone cost the industry in excess of £20 million, but while it would be impossible to calculate what his entire career has cost us, safe to say we can multiply that figure many times over. However, that really is only half the story, as McCoy’s value to the sport as a champion, ambassador and hero goes a long way to balancing the books, and there will certainly never be another AP,” added Stevens.
Among McCoy’s rides on his final day is Mr Mole, his mount in the 3.15 at Sandown, the AP McCoy Celebration Chase, a race renamed in honour of the jockey, and bookies fear one last hammering from his followers should he win his ‘own’ race.
“It would of course be entirely fitting should AP win his own race on Mr Mole, and if he does, the cheers will be heard not just at Sandown, but in betting shops and living rooms across the country,” reckoned Stevens.
However, although the 20-times champion has said this will be his last time in the saddle, Coral are not so sure, and go 5-1 that he rides in a race next season, and 16-1 that he wins a 21st title in 2015/16.
“McCoy himself seems unsure that calling it a day is the right thing, and although we wish him a long and happy retirement, given how strong his competitive spirit is, we are certainly not ruling out some sort of comeback next season, something punters would certainly cheer,” concluded Stevens.
**AP McCoy to ride in any NH race under rules during the 2015-2016 UK National Hunt season
**National Hunt Jockeys’ Title 2015-16
5-4 Richard Johnson, 2-1 Sam Twiston-Davies, 5-1 Tom Scudamore, 9-1 Barry Geraghty, 10-1 Jason Maguire, 16-1 AP McCoy, 33-1 Aidan Coleman, Sean Bowen, 50-1 Brian Hughes
Further Information Contact
David Stevens 07720 400438
Simon Clare 07860 465139