National Glory at Last for McCoy
1 (6) Don't Push It 10/1 (JF)
After 14 failed attempts at the John Smith’s Grand National and the same number of jockeys’ championships, the most-successful jump rider of all time Tony McCoy finally landed his sport’s most-famous prize.
McCoy was confident from a mile into this year’s race aboard Don’t Push It that he would be successful and he eventually came home five lengths clear of Black Apalachi.
“The only good thing going into the race was that (owner) J P (McManus) had had more failed attempts than me!” jocked McCoy. “It was the perfect race and he jumped well all the way.
“I had four horses to choose from but ruled two of them out a couple of weeks ago and Jonjo (O’Neill) more or less put me on Don’t Push It. If truth be told my trainer put me on the right horse.
“He ran well in November at Cheltenham under top weight and that had always been at the back of my mind. He has always had ability but is mentally unstable so the two of us get on well together!
“I’m the biggest dreamer in the world, I dream every day, and for the past five or six years I’ve dreamt that I’d win the National. I got a bit down so this year I decided to enjoy myself.
“I hadn’t gone more than a mile and I wouldn’t have swapped my position for anything, and I don’t just mean horses. He had just totally taken to it. He’s sometimes been too intelligent but today he totally used his brain the right way. He made a couple of mistakes but that was my fault as much as the horse and who cares.
“I’ve won a few other races that nobody knows but everyone on the street knows the Grand National, it’s the people’s race and from a jockey’s perspective that’s why it’s important. At least that I can think that I’ve sort of done alright as a jockey now.
“My daughter (Eve) is more into Ruby Walsh than me. I thought at Christmas that it was because he looked like Santa but she still talks a lot about Ruby. But hopefully this win should give her something to be proud about in years to come.
“J P is the greatest supporter this game will ever had and it’s probably only Jonjo and me who know how much every horse, whether at Plumpton on a Monday or at Cheltenham, means to him. There have been plenty of horses that I’ve suggested we should move on but he said to keep them and he’s often been right. “
DON’T PUSH IT (IRE) - The 10/1Jt-Fav WINNER
Don’t Push It began his career in the 2004/05 season, finishing a promising third in a Warwick bumper, and duly won on his only two starts the following season in a Market Rasen bumper and a Haydock novices’ hurdle. Sent over fences the following season, he got off the mark at Southwell before finding only the mighty Denman too good in a novices’ chase at Cheltenham in November, 2006. Further wins at Cheltenham and Chepstow followed and he was still in contention when falling two out in the 2007 Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He took advantage of his lower hurdles ratings when landing the Listed Silver Trophy at Chepstow on his seasonal reappearance in the 2007/08 season, but disappointed on his two subsequent outings that season. Last season started disappointingly, but he progressed to take second behind Big Buck’s in a hurdle race at Cheltenham in January, 2009, and rounded off the campaign with a fine victory in the John Smith’s Handicap Chase over three miles and a furlong of the Mildmay course at Aintree on Grand National day. He has had four outings so far this season. He began the current campaign by taking fourth in the Grade Two Old Roan Chase at Aintree and then stayed on well to take second to Galant Nuit, beaten half a length, in a Grade Three handicap chase at Cheltenham in November. A bad mistake at the last cost him all chance of success in a handicap chase at Warwick in December, while he disappointed on his latest outing when pulling up in the Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Race Record: Starts: 23; Wins: 8 ; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £653,390
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