national 2011 /
Watering has Begun on Grand National Course
Aintree groundstaff resumed watering on Friday to maintain the going on the Grand National course at good, good to soft in places, and good on the Mildmay course with another warm day expected in Liverpool on Saturday.
Clerk of the Course Andrew Tulloch confirmed that he has already started watering the Grand National course and will water the Mildmay Course overnight.
He said: “We’ll be putting roughly five to six millimetres of water on the National Course to maintain the going as it is, which is good, good to soft in places. I’ll be putting the same on the Mildmay Course.
“It will be another dry day tomorrow with temperatures up to about 20 degrees and we’re not racing on the National Course until 4.15pm so it will dry out a bit as it has done today.
“It should be good ground and there may be a bit of ease in it. As ever at Aintree we are aiming to produce safe jumping ground.”
“DON’T PUSH IT GIVING ALL THE RIGHT SIGNS” - McCOY
We have to go back 37 years to find the last back-to-back winner of the John Smith’s Grand National - the legendary Red Rum, who won the race for a third time three years later - but Tony McCoy believes that Don’t Push It, who realised a lifelong dream for the champion jockey when capturing the world’s most famous chase 12 months ago, has a sporting chance of creating history at 4.15pm tomorrow.
McCoy said: ”Winning on Don’t Push It last year was the best day of my racing career, but that is the past and it is the future that counts, so it is more important to go out there and do it again.
“As far as the public is concerned, the Grand National is the biggest race in the world, and my boss, J P McManus (owner of Don’t Push It), had tried many times without success to win it, so to play a part in helping him make a dream become reality was very special.
“Obviously, it would be a terrific feat if we could do it again, and Don’t Push It has progressed with every run this season, so it was always going to be difficult to choose another horse over him.
“I thought he ran very well over hurdles at Cheltenham last time, and his preparation has gone as well, if not a bit better than last year, and, with the handicapper compressing the weights, the classier horses have a better chance than they might have done in the past.
“Don’t Push It is a strange character and we knew last year that he would either love it or hate it. Fortunately, he took to the fences, and I knew quite early on in the race that he was on a going day.
“Some previous winners have gone back the following year and not enjoyed it, but I see no reason why Don’t Push It should not run his race again.
“He is a different horse with the ear plugs, but he is still very much aware of everything that is going on around him. He is calm and relaxed and I have to be hopeful, but as I say the National is the National.
“People ask me what I see as dangers and there are 39 of them, plus the 30 fences. Ruby Walsh rides The Midnight Club and that horse looks to have been aimed at this race for some time now and, while he might lack a bit of experience, when Willie Mullins sets one out for a race like this you have to show him respect.
“Niche Market is another who I could see running really well, but at the end of the day I concentrate more on my own horse rather than the opposition, and we just need some luck.”
McCoy also rides last year’s Champion Hurdler Binocular for McManus in tomorrow’s Grade One John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle.
He said: ”I schooled Binocular over a couple of hurdles at Lambourn last week, and he felt great. Obviously, we are going into unknown territory trying two and a half miles, and both Peddler’s Cross and Celestial Halo are the guaranteed stayers, but Binocular is in good shape and, after the debacle of Cheltenham this year, it would be nice to make amends.”