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Grand National Review 2010
10/04/10

1 (6) Don't Push It 10/1 (JF)
2 (4) Black Apalachi 14/1
3 (23) State of Play 16/1
4 (22) Big Fella Thanks 10/1 (JF)

Tony McCoy, the 14-time champion jump jockey and breaker of all records, shed tears as he won the £925,00 John Smith’s Grand National at his 15th attempt.

A P McCoy
Tony McCoy

“I am being a big wuss but it is everything to win the John Smith’s Grand National. I have won lots of big races and I am supposed to be a good jockey but to not win the Grand National is bit of a negative on the CV.

“I am delighted. When I started off riding for Billy Rock - he really believed in me. I am delighted for my mum and dad - they have been great to me - and obviously my wife Chanelle and Eve (his young daughter) - she will be proud of me now hopefully when she grows up.

“My mum and dad aren’t here but I am sure that they will be watching at home. It’s great for them . My trainer put me on the right horse - he swayed me very much and didn’t argue with me. I asked him to toss a coin and I think he tossed it a few times until he got Don’t Push It. Jonjo is an amazing trainer - he was very adamant - and I didn’t argue with him.

“I think that you get enough goes at something and you keep going - you are always punching - you have always got a chance of winning. I am delighted for this man (JP McManus) because he the best supporter that this game has had or ever will have. I am very, very privileged - I mean I rode a Grand National winner in these colours.”

Jonjo O’Neill, the winning trainer, said: “I am lost for words! It is fantastic and I thought that it would never happen to me. I am delighted that it has happened and I am delighted for AP, for JP , and all of lads. It is brilliant.

“Alan Berry does everything with this horse. The horse lives out in a field, with half a dozen Jacobs sheep, and Alan does everything with him. I don’t even go near him, so it all down to him.

“I didn’t really believe we would win until we passed the post I didn’t think that it would never happen but, anyway, it did happen so it is marvellous.”

J P McManus, the winning owner, said: “Firstly, I want to thank Frank Berry because he found the horse and bought him as a foal and I don’t think we would have the horse without him. So that was a great start and full marks to Jonjo and all of the team at Jackdaws - Don’t Push It has been a difficult horse over the years to keep him right and keep his mind right.

“He gets very hot and very warm so I think it was a great effort on beahlf of Jonjo and all of his team.

 

JONJO O’NEILL

Trainer Jonjo O’Neill never got round in seven attempts as a jockey in the John Smith’s Grand National but finally triumphed in jump racing’s biggest prize today thanks to Don’t Push It.

“That was harder than riding!” said O’Neill. “It will take a bit of sinking in but it was fantastic. He just had a good position all the way and seemed to be jumping all the way.

At the Canal Turn I thought that Big Fella Thanks was going best but that we’d be placed and I’d have been happy with that but he picked up again.

“I walked the track with the kids this morning and said to them that I’d had seven goes as a jockey but when we got to the Canal Turn I said that that was where we stopped because I didn’t know what happened after that, I never got any further!

“As a trainer I’ve come close and hit the bar a few times but I just thought we were destined never to win the National. I just hoped they’d get back safe and sound.

“A P knew the horses well and he was on the better of the two on form and I thought this one had the better chance of getting the trip, which he did.

“The parade was going to be a big thing with this fellow and I saddled him in the stables and put ear plugs in. I did the whole lot and didn’t think it would work out but it did.

“He’s always had time in field and has had a few problems with the likes of a kissing spine and with his stifles. Alan (Berry) rides him all the time at home, nearly always on his own and he just gets a little bit of work. A P knows him on the track and Alan knows him at home.”

 

J P McMANUS

Jump racing’s biggest ever owner J P McManus has been fixated with the John Smith’s Grand National for 50 years and he put Don’t Push It’s victory today at the top of his many successes in racing.

“There’s no doubt that this was the race I have always wanted to win. The National is the National and to win it is great,” said McManus. “The first one I remember is Merryman (in 1960) and I think I first came here in 1976 for Rag Trade. There are many strange memories that go with the race for me, for instance it’s my mum’s anniversary mass tomorrow and we all used to look forward to the National together. From the time you were whatever age you’d look forward to the National for whatever reason, whether you’d do the cows in the morning so you could be finished to watch the race and your father gave you a couple of shillings to put on the race.

“It’s great to have a runner and it’s even better when you win. I suppose as a child the one race you know about is the Grand National and it means such a lot. My mum, my dad, we all loved the National and we were encouraged to have a bet. It’s a wonderful day for everyone - for Jonjo (O’Neill) for Alan Berry, who looks after him, and for all the staff.

“We had planned to watch the Munster rugby match in the box at the racecourse after racing and I’ll leave it up to my family to see if they want to change plans. I suspect we could be flying back to Shannon.

“You come to the National more in hope than expectation and then you are not disappointed and if I had 10 good enough to run in the race I’d run them.

“I want to thank Alan Berry, who looks after this horse and all the team at Jonjo’s, the horse needs an enormous amount of individual training. Alan went to Chepstow but sadly for a horse that was a non-runner.

“I also want to thank Frank Berry, who found the horse as a store and liked him, without him we wouldn’t have been here.

“I go back a long way with Jonjo, to 1980 when he ride Jack Of Trumps in the Gold Cup, so we have had an association spanning five decades, it’s a long time.

“I noticed his odds had come in before the race but I didn’t back him, I was just happy to see him deliver the goods.

“Although we had four runners, we were down to one after the Chair and I thought that only four or five could win from the second circuit and I knew Don’t Push It would get the trip.

"When he ran last November in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, A P said he could just be a National horse and I’m very glad he picked him today. The horse goes well fresh but maybe he needed his last run to get the edge off him.

“It’s just a very, very special day for us all. AP really deserved to win this race and I’m just so glad it was on one of mine."

 

MORE JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL QUOTES

Chanelle McCoy, Tony’s wife, said: “I am just practically speechless. For him to do this means the absolute world for him. I know that he would love his mother and father to be here - Claire and Paeder - who are the most amazing parents. Our little daughter Eve is at home cheering. It has been an emotional day and, for a man that doesn’t get too emotional, this is a hugely emotional end.

“Thanks also to Mr and Mrs McManus to have make this possible for Anthony, and for Jonjo and Jackie. I think that it is a lovely team effort and a massive achievement.”

JP McManus said later: "It’s great to have a runner and it’s even better when you win. I suppose as a child the one race you know about is the Grand National and it means such a lot. My mum, my dad, we all loved the National and we were encouraged to have a bet. It’s a wonderful day for everyone - for Jonjo (O’Neill) for Alan Berry, who looks after Don’t Push It, and for all the staff.

"When he ran last November in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, AP (McCoy) said he could just be a National horse and I’m very glad he picked him today. It’s just a very, very special day for us all.

"AP really deserved to win this race and I’m just so glad it was on one of mine."

Barry Geraghty, rider of the fourth Big Fella Thanks, said: “He was brilliant - he jumped great and travelled well. He was the pick of Paul’s horses from weeks back and Ruby obviously went for him so it was nice to get back on him. It’s unfortunate for Ruby and I hope that he is OK.

“I knew that I was not sitting on the winner to the second last and AP was sitting on plenty of horse. It was a good result for him and JP - they deserve it.

“I thought that I might win going to the third last but I was running out of petrol going to the second last.”

Denis O’Regan, rider of the second Black Apalachi, said: “I had a tremendous ride. He jumped superbly and he is a credit to all of the team - to Dessie and all of the team back home - they got him in perfect condition.

“He jumped from fence to fence and gave me a great ride. I am delighted for AP - he beat me fair and square on the best horse on the day. Fair play to him because he has achieved so much.

“We were 1lb better off compared to last year and he was a lot more settled today. He is a credit to the team and it was a great run.”

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