AP McCoy will be a major draw for Fairyhouse
The decision of soon to be retired AP McCoy not to finish his career in Punchestown surprised on the one hand but was equally unsurprising on the other.
Despite, hailing from these shores, McCoy has made his name across the water and with the Irish season ending a week later than the British one this year, it was always likely that he may choose Sandown as his final stop of the long goodbye.
McCoy undoubtedly would have got a reception he'll never forget over the course of the five-day Punchestown Festival and it would have been nice to see him go there and take a select book of rides for JP McManus, but his decision has been made and instead maybe Punchestown will let us witness McCoy's replacement in the first week of his new role.
Punchestown's loss is Fairyhouse's gain though as the Easter meeting which gets underway on Sunday will now be the final chance for punters to see this remarkable rider on an Irish racecourse and if the Ryanair Gold Cup and BoyleSports Irish Grand National weren't big enough attractions, you can be certain that his absence from Punchestown is going to swell the numbers going through the turnstiles and rightly so.
What McCoy will ride in the Irish Grand National will become a little clearer today after the latest forfeit stages but similarly to Shutthefrontdoor at Aintree, expect the horse to be at least half the price it should be just because of who is riding him!