Musselburgh Racecourse is throwing its weight behind 15 times champion jockey Tony McCoy in his bid to become the 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
The vote takes place on Sunday evening (Dec 19) and McCoy s down to the last 10 in the prestigious competition. Other nominees include golfer Lee Westwood, Olympic diver Tom Daley, world heavyweight boxing champion David Haye and cycling sprint star Mark Cavendish.
During his 21 years as a jockey, Tony McCoy has ridden in more than 13,000 races, been the winner on more than 3,300 occasions, collected almost every major jump racing prize and enjoyed his fair share of winners at Musselburgh Racecourse.
In his quest for winners on the racecourses of Britain, he travels 75,000 miles a year by car – and during his career he has fallen almost 700 times, breaking his back, shoulder blades, collarbones, ribs, ankle, cheekbones, a wrist, and a leg in the process.
He spends 12 hours a week sweating to lose 42lbs. He eats only four nights a week, and then only steamed fish or chicken with steamed vegetables. His only luxury is mayonnaise, and he gets many of his calories from sugar in tea or eating jelly babies.
Musselburgh Racecourse general manager, Bill Farnsworth, said: “A P – as he is known by his initials – has completely rewritten the jump jockey record book and, through the years, we know many of our race goers young and old whose love of horse racing has been cemented by that photo or that autograph with the champion. His visits to East Lothian have always been special.
“Tony McCoy has graced horse racing with unmatched distinction and, with everyone's help, the sport hopes that he can be recognised in the most public way of all, by him winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday 19 December.
“We are asking all our Musselburgh regulars to vote for A P that evening. Those who have won the most coveted of all sports awards include some of our greatest sporting 'legends' like Sir Steve Redgrave, Lord Sebastian Coe and the Princess Royal. It's time for Tony McCoy to join that ultimate roll of honour.”
Meanwhile Musselburgh holds its last jumps meeting of the year on Wednesday (Dec 22) and then is back in to action on New Year’s Day.
Feature race on Wednesday is the £10,000 Betfair.com handicap hurdle over two miles and total prize money over the seven card fixture is £37,000. Advance ticket sales for both meetings are doing well and Musselburgh is hoping for a strong finish to the year following the abandonment of its last meeting due to severe weather conditions.
Musselburgh Racecourse commercial manager, Sarah Montgomery, said: “With the weather on our side we could enjoy a really good end to 2010 and a positive start to 2011. Two of our New Year’s Day races will be televised on Channel 4 and sales indicate we could be in for a sizeable gate on January 1.”
Discounts are available by booking in advance online. Visit www.musselburgh-racecourse.co.uk