Sir Anthony McCoy, racing’s only previous winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, has voiced his support for Hollie Doyle on the eve of Sunday’s show.
For McCoy, the coveted award came following an uninterrupted run as champion jockey and decades at the top of the sport, while wider recognition has come much earlier for Doyle.
In what has well and truly been a breakthrough year, she rode her first Royal Ascot winner, enjoyed a five-timer at Windsor and registered two winners on Champions Day – which included a first Group One success on Glen Shiel.
“Best of luck for Sunday, Hollie, in Sports Personality of the Year,” McCoy told Great British Racing.
“It’s been a great year, and you thoroughly deserve your nomination. I hope you have a great evening.”
Money continues to pour in on Doyle to win the award. When the nominations were first revealed she was a 33-1 chance, but she is now 3-1 second favourite behind odd-on shot Lewis Hamilton.
Coral’s David Stevens said: “Plenty of punters have won money backing Hollie Doyle’s many winners in 2020, and maybe those same fans have been backing her to be crowned Sports Personality, because her odds have fallen in a way we rarely see with this competition.
“When you consider AP McCoy had won numerous jockeys’ titles and a Grand National before he won this prize, it speaks volumes for how Hollie Doyle has captured the imagination of sports fans this year to even make the final six – and now she’s second favourite to win, even though she’s up against world champions like Lewis Hamilton, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Tyson Fury.
“If she does land the gamble on Sunday night it will be a nice early festive present for punters at the bookies’ expense. But we’ll be paying out with a smile – after all what’s more apt than Hollie at Christmas!”
Doyle was riding in France on Saturday – meaning she needed to gain special dispensation to attend the awards show because of Covid-19 protocols.
On cue as ever of course, she duly rode an early winner on Archie Watson’s Colonel Faulkner at Deauville.