Fakenham back McCoy for award

Fakenham Racecourse's next race day this Sunday will unashamedly be promoting Tony McCoy to be voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010.

Fakenham's Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course David Hunter explained that the seven races had been re-named to reflect the course's backing for the Northern Irish jockey, pictured: 'The Racecourse Directors and staff feel very strongly that we should do all we can to maximise Tony's chances of winning Sports Personality of the Year,' he said. 'Tony is a massive supporter of Fakenham, he is very popular among our race goers and he doesn't miss many of our race meetings.

'He is an outstanding sporting icon and his achievements speak for themselves. He has been champion national hunt jockey for the past 15 years; he has won more than 3,000 races and he won this year's Grand National on Don't Push It.

'Therefore, we have changed the race meeting's name to 'The Champion's Race Day' and all seven race names have been changed to encourage all to vote for him. I am also delighted that the race sponsors have agreed the name changes.'

The races now line up as: McCoy to Win BBC Sports Personality Juvenile Hurdle; SIS Votes AP for Sports Personality Novice's Chase; ATR Votes McCoy on 19th December Handicap Chase; Remember Vote McCoy Sundry 19th December Maiden Hurdle; McCoy Year to Win Sports Personality Beginner's Chase; Tote Vote AP for Sports Personality Handicap Hurdle Race; Outstanding Sportsman deserves an Outstanding Win Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

Fakenham needs to beat the current snow and ice in order for the meeting to go ahead and Hunter, speaking yesterday, said: 'We have got to be optimistic as there are still a few days to go. We've still got snow covering the course and where the snow has been compacted on the roads it is icy. There needs to be a thaw, but the forecast is for temperatures to be getting above zero.

'Undoubtedly we will be having several inspections and we would advise people to keep checking the media and our website for up to date information.'

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Hunter added: 'We currently have 164 horses entered at the five-day stage with horses coming from local trainers as well as those from the big yards. Also, as we are the only race course to be providing jumps racing on December 12 we should be getting most of the top jockeys with us – which hopefully will include Tony.'

Fakenham's race card will feature some pages of facts and figures about McCoy. There will also be life size cardboard cut-outs of the jockey around the course and after the meeting these are being prominently placed in some major shops in the town in the build up to the BBC awards.

The first of Fakenham's seven National Hunt races is at 12.25pm and the last race is at 3.25pm.

n Entry prices are: Adult Day member �18, Grandstand & Paddock �13 and Course Enclosure �8. All youngsters 17 years and under are free. Car parking is free except the member's car park, �8.