Champion jockey AP McCoy hung up his boots at Sandown – but not before he rinsed Paddy (below) in some eye-watering gambles.
With AP now free to eat three square meals a day, top jock Barry Geraghty (35) takes over in the hot seat to try and hit Paddy where it hurts most – the pocket.
But Geraghty, no stranger to big-race success, has some pretty big boots to fill if he wants to become a punter’s favourite like the champ.
1. Don’t Push It, 10/1, Aintree Grand National, 2010
It may have taken him 15 attempts but Tony McCoy finally got the monkey off his back when winning the world’s greatest race on Don’t Push It in 2010.
The champ had to have his arm twisted by trainer Jonjo O’Neill in the run up to the Aintree spectacular and only committed to him two days before the big race.
A monster punt from 20/1 to half those odds on Grand National morning it was estimated to have cost the betting industry £50m and paid for the fake tan in Liverpool for the next decade.
2. Carlingford Lough, 7/2f, Galway Plate, 2013
It’s hard to believe that one of the market leaders for this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup was seen an underachiever over fences.
But that all changed at Ballybrit two summers ago when McCoy took the ride on John Kiely’s Carlingford Lough for the first time in the Galway Plate – and punters took the hint. McCoy’s mount only got into the race as first reserve that morning but as his price tumbled from 10/1 to 7/2 favourite – the bookies feared the worst.
McCoy pounced up the hill to land the odds and cover the cost of the nightly visit to Supermacs for the rest of the week.
3. Colbert Station 5/1f, Paddy Power Chase, Leopardstown 2012
Paddy had barely digested the mince pies and After Eights before AP put the boot in at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting in 2012 on Colbert Station.
A nice warm up over hurdles at Navan earlier in the month left the Ted Walsh-trained eight-year-old primed for victory at the Foxrock track and was backed accordingly from 16/1 into 5/1 on the day of the race.
McCoy didn’t disappoint and the traders were still mopping the blood off the race-room floor well into the New Year.
4. Brave Inca, 7/4f, Cheltenham Champion Hurdle, 2006
A year after losing out in the three-way photo to Hardy Eustace and Harchibald in one of the most memorable Champion Hurdles of all time Brave Inca was back for more.
Trainer Colm Murphy had jocked off regular pilot Barry Cash and replaced him with AP. It proved a shrewd move as Brave Inca went unbeaten in three of his four races before justifying favouritism in the Champion Hurdle and cost Paddy a packet.
5. Alderwood, 3/1f, Grand Annual Chase, Cheltenham 2013
The mention of Friday, March 15, 2013 still has the race room breaking out in cold sweats in one of their worst day’s trading at the Cotswolds.
On a day that had already seen Our Conor (4/1) and Ted Veale (10/1) win the opening two races for Ireland, three consecutive winning favourites in At Fishers Cross (11/8f), Bobs Worth (11/4f) and Salsify (2/1f) had a punch-drunk Paddy on the ropes.
Irish and UK trainers were tied at 13 winners apiece going into the finale but McCoy steered Tom Mullins’ heavily-backed Alderwood (3/1f) home having been punted from 10/1 in the ante-post book to deliver the knock-out blow.