Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 May 2016

Home Sport Racing

Tony McCoy to pick from two for National bid

By Tom Peacock

Published 12/02/2014

Grand plan: Tony McCoy and owner JP McManus are out to repeat 2010 Grand National success
Grand plan: Tony McCoy and owner JP McManus are out to repeat 2010 Grand National success

Tony McCoy's ride in the Crabbie's Grand National appears to be down to a potential two after the weights were announced for what looks an incredibly open renewal.

The official bookmakers Betfred were offering all the 114 entries at upwards of 20-1, and whichever the record-breaking champion jockey chooses will be a far shorter price by April 5.

Ulsterman McCoy's boss JP McManus owns 11 of the possible runners as the combination bid to repeat the Aintree success of Don't Push It in 2010, and the owner's racing manager Frank Berry said: "They are all well at the moment and let's hope they get there in one piece.

"I fancied Colbert Station (11st) when AP rode him last year on decent ground but he forgot to take off at The Chair.

"I'd say what McCoy rides will be a toss-up between Colbert Station and Double Seven (10st 11lb), who has won his last five.

"Carlingford Lough (10st 13lb) is entered but I'd say it will be a year too soon for him and he'll be in one of the novices (races) at Cheltenham."

Colbert Station is trained by former Grand National-winning trainer Ted Walsh along with 2012 third Seabass (11st 2lb), while Double Seven is also trained by another former Aintree conqueror in Martin Brassil.

Brassil said: "I was probably expecting something between 10st 10lb and 11st, but that's what I thought he might get off his mark.

"At least we know we will get a run and it's great to have a horse good enough for the race. He is a spring/summer horse, but he's fit as we can have him in this wet weather.

"Hopefully we'll try to get a race into him beforehand in mid-March and there's a chance he might come to Cheltenham for the four-miler."

The National is about the only event missing from champion trainer Nicky Henderson's CV and former Gold Cup winner Long Run was given 11st 9lb, which is just 1lb behind the top-weight Tidal Bay.

He has the Hennessy hero Triolo D'Alene on 11st 6lb, which is 1lb lower than his fascinating new recruit Hunt Ball.

"After he ran in the King George on Boxing Day, Robert (Waley-Cohen, owner) and I had to conclude Long Run probably wasn't a Gold Cup horse now," said Henderson.

"I'm very pro the whole idea (of the National) so he'll go to Kelso on Thursday (Ivan Straker Memorial Chase) and we'll take it from there.

"Barry Geraghty begged me not to run Triolo D'Alene in the Hennessy to protect his weight for the National. We're penalised a bit now but he's got his weight and he probably deserves it.

"Hunt Ball is in two races at Ascot at the weekend and he'll run in one of those first."

Those two events, the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Chase and Betfair Ascot Chase, are also options for last year's National third Teaforthree (10st 12lb).

Tidal Bay is one of seven entries for Paul Nicholls.

"We've a few in there but the number one challenger without a doubt is Tidal Bay," said Nicholls.

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

From the web

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph