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Who will this year’s Sports Personality of the Year crown?

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It’s another strong SPOTY shortlist, but there are three standout candidates . . .

On a crisp November afternoon at an unremarkable race meeting in the quiet town of Towcester, AP McCoy made history. There, on board Mountain Tunes, the 18-times champion jump jockey rode the 4,000th winner of his remarkable career.

AP won the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year title in 2010, after finally winning the Grand National, and he’s among the 10 nominees for this year’s crown. In an ordinary year, his continued phenomenal success would make him a shoo-in for a repeat prize, but, as with last year’s post-Olympics bonanza, this year’s SPOTY shortlist is full of amazing athletes and their phenomenal achievements.

Golf fans have had a soft spot for Justin Rose ever since he finished fourth as a 17-year-old amateur at the 1998 Open Championship. On Father’s Day, and inspired by memories of his late dad Ken, Justin played the golf of his life to claim the US Open title, and his first Major.

With Olympic golden girl Jessica Ennis injured for the World Championships, everyone was looking for another female to steal the limelight. Step forward Christine Ohuruogu. After narrowly missing out on gold at her home Olympics, she became the first British woman to win two world titles as she claimed gold in the 400 metres, six years after her last triumph.

The success of the Paralympic Games 12 months ago has resulted in disabled athletes deservedly receiving more coverage. Stars have emerged like Hannah Cockroft. The 21-year-old is an inspiration to many and no one can keep up with her on the track.

Fresh from double gold in London, she retained her 100 and 200-metre world titles in Lyon this summer, with blistering speed in her wheelchair.

Also included in the list of this year’s sporting superstars are sailing legend Ben Ainslie, England cricketer Ian Bell (though he won’t be in Leeds for the awards show on Sunday as he’s busy Down Under) and British and Irish Lions hero Leigh Halfpenny.

But the most-likely contenders to fill the top three spots are runner Mo Farah, cyclist Chris Froome and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, all of whom we’ll be profiling over the weekend in advance of Sunday night’s show.