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McCoy bids for place in history

By Kirsten Elder

Sixteen-times champion jockey Tony McCoy has been described as a ‘credit to his sport' by top television racing pundit John McCririck ahead of tomorrow's John Smith's Grand National.

Ulsterman McCoy is attempting to follow in the footsteps of jockey Jerry Wilson who guided Golden Miller to the Cheltenham Gold Cup-Grand National double in 1934.

Golden Miller is still the only horse to have held both titles at the same time.

Now, 78 years later, Northern Ireland hopes rest on McCoy's bid to repeat the unique double with last month’s Gold Cup winner Synchronised at Aintree in the biggest race of the year.

McCririck, who made a huge impact as a Celebrity Big Brother contestant, said: “McCoy is in with a chance but he has a lot to do.

“McCoy is an honest, determined, hard working man, because of his upbringing. He won it (the 2010 National) with Don't Push It so he could do it again.”

With both Don't Push It and Synchronised trained by Jonjo O’Neill and owned by JP McManus, McCoy is favourite to win the Grand National for the second time in three years.

Synchronised will be up against some top class opposition, including Seabass, ridden by Katie Walsh, sister of McCoy’s friend and rival Ruby Walsh.

Katie Walsh will not only be competing to win the Grand National, but will be attempting to become the first female rider to do so.

Paul McLean, Managing Director of McLean Bookmakers, is anticipating one of his busiest ever days, particularly given Co Antrim man McCoy’s attempt to make history.

“As one of the biggest races of the year, the Grand National has a real carnival atmosphere. It's a family day, and I hope everyone has fun watching it,” he said.

There will be plenty of smiles on the faces of the Northern Ireland public if McCoy wins on Synchronised tomorrow, with more than a few pounds sure to be placed on the 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Belfast Telegraph

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