AP McCoy hopes to ride off with Personality of the Year award

THE great and good of British sport will gather in Birmingham tomorrow night and, if the bookies are to be believed, they will see AP McCoy become the first jockey to win the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

McCoy is odds-on favourite to take an accolade that eluded even the legendary Lester Piggot after a concerted campaign by supporters to recognise the man who has been champion jumps jockey a remarkable 15 years in a row.

He is the first jump jockey to ride more than 3,000 winners. He has won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and King George VI Chase. But the one race to elude him and deny him immortality in the sport was the blue riband Grand National. That all changed on 10 April when he rode Don't Push It to victory at Aintree.

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McCoy is odds-on to win the award but there have been upsets in the past. Here are the runners and riders for this year's crown.


THE greatest jump jockey in history finally won the Grand National at the 15th attempt in 2010 on Don't Push It. It was the missing piece in the racing jigsaw for the 36-year-old, who has been champion jockey a record 15 times in a row and has ridden over 3,000 winners.


His rise to stardom in 2010 has been nothing short of incredible. In June he became Europe's first US Open champion for 40 years when he clinched his maiden major title in impressive fashion at Pebble Beach. The 31-year-old then showed nerves of steel to win the final singles match at the Ryder Cup in October, earning the point which won back the trophy for Europe.


England's spin master enjoyed another great year in 2010, playing a pivotal role in series wins against Bangladesh and Pakistan as well as the World Twenty20 triumph over Australia.


'The Power' has enjoyed a stunning year even by his own incredibly high standards .Taylor has collected six major titles in 2010, including the World Championship, Premier League and World Matchplay crowns. No darts player has ever lifted the Sports Personality of the Year trophy but Taylor is a man used to breaking records throughout his career.


Previously little-known outside of her own sport, she became a national star quite literally overnight after winning Britain's first individual Winter Olympics gold medal for 30 years with victory in the women's bob skeleton.


The 37-year-old capped a superb 2010 by becoming the world's No 1golfer at the end of October. In doing so, the Nottinghamshire player ended American Tiger Woods's incredible 281-week reign at the top of the rankings.Westwood's achievement meant he became the first European to top the world rankings since Nick Faldo in 1994.


The golden girl of British athletics was at it again in 2010, winning European heptathlon gold after dominating in Barcelona. The 24-year-old led her rivals from start to finish in Spain.


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Another year, another set of fantastic performances from teenager Tom Daley. The 16-year-old added to his already bulging medal collection with two golds at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.


Once again the 'Manx Missile' proved he is the world's greatest sprinter on the road in 2010. He won five stages in the Tour de France and followed that up by winning the points jersey at the Tour of Spain in September.


The year 2010 proved to be another knockout year for 'The Hayemaker', with two successful defences of his world heavyweight title. The WBA champion stopped American John Ruiz in April, further proving his credentials as a hard-hitting heavyweight champion. Haye's attention then turned to an all-British showdown with Audley Harrison in November and proved a class above his opponent, stopping Harrison in the third round.

Previous winners

2009: Ryan Giggs

2008: Sir Chris Hoy

2008: Joe Calzaghe

2006: Zara Phillips

2005: Andrew Flintoff

2004: Dame Kelly Holmes

2003: Jonny Wilkinson

2002: Paula Radcliffe

2001: David Beckham

2000: Sir Steve Redgrave