Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Don't Push It ridden by Tony McCoy wins Grand National

Grand National winner: Tony McCoy

Don't Push It, trained by Jonjo O'Neill and ridden by Tony McCoy, has won the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree.

McCoy ended his long wait for a Grand National win as he claimed victory at the 15th attempt on board the 10-1 joint favourite.

Owner JP McManus and Trainer Jonjo O'Neill also celebrated their first wins as Don't Push It finished ahead of Black Apalachi and State of Play.

Black Apalachi was prominent throughout but Don't Push It 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.

Long-time favourite Big Fella Thanks was fourth.

McCoy, close to tears, 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."

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.

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