Tony McCoy pushes it to take Grand National win

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The Independent Online

Tony McCoy finally won the John Smith's Grand National as Don't Push It - his 15th ride in the race - provided the champion jockey with a famous win at Aintree.

Black Apalachi was prominent throughout but McCoy was always stalking him on the second circuit.

As they jumped the last together, McCoy galvanised his mount to take up the running before the Elbow and the relief the record-breaking rider showed immediately afterwards was immense.

An almighty gamble in the minutes before the four-and-a-half-mile marathon saw the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Don't Push It sent off the 10-1 joint-favourite along with Big Fella Thanks, with the latter ridden by Barry Geraghty in the absence of the injured Ruby Walsh.

Geraghty was another still going well approaching the second-last, along with 17-year-old Sam Twiston-Davies on Hello Bud.

But Black Apalachi and Don't Push It pulled clear and it was McCoy who took the plaudits as he won by five lengths.

State Of Play went one better than last year to stay on for third, with Big Fella Thanks fourth and Hello Bud fifth.

Legendary owner-gambler JP McManus had been trying to win the Aintree spectacular for years but his ambition finally came true.

Nina Carberry, attempting to become the first woman to win the race on Character Building, had a great spin round to finish seventh with Snowy Morning sixth to add to his good record in the race.

Last year's winner Mon Mome still appeared to be going well when he fell at the 26th fence.

A tearful McCoy said: "I'm being a big wuss. It means everything to me to win the Grand National.

"I've won lots of big races and I'm supposed to be a good jockey, but to not win the Grand National would be a bit of a negative on the CV.

"I'm delighted for my mum and dad as they've been great for me throughout the years, and for my wife Chanelle and my daughter Eve, who is two and a half.

"Hopefully now she'll be proud of me when she grows up."

McCoy continued: "My trainer put me on the right one if truth be known. I asked him to toss a coin and I think he tossed it a few times until he got Don't Push It.

"I couldn't have picked it, but Jonjo was very adamant and I didn't argue with him.

"If you get enough goes at something and you keep going, once you're in there you've always got a chance.

"I'm delighted for JP (McManus) as he's the best supporter this game has ever had and ever will have, and I'm very privileged to ride a Grand National winner in his colours."

Chanelle McCoy said: "I'm speechless. For him to do this means the absolute world to him. I know he would have loved his parents to be here.

"It is so emotional and for him to do it for Mr McManus and for Jonjo and Jacqui (O'Neill), it is a fantastic achievement. It's brilliant."

O'Neill said: "It's fantastic and I thought it would never happen to me.

"I'm delighted it's happened and I'm delighted for AP (McCoy) and JP and all the lads.

"Alan Berry does everything with this horse at home so well done to him. The horse lives out in a field with half a dozen sheep.

"I didn't believe it was going to happen until they passed the post as I thought something was going to happen, but it's marvellous.

"Things can't get much better than this.

McManus added: "First of all I want to thank Frank Berry (racing manager) as he found the horse in Listowel and I don't think without Frank we would have had the horse.

"Full marks to Jonjo and the team as he's been a difficult horse down the years to keep right and keep his mind right."





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