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AP McCoy may opt for Scottish National after double failure


AP McCoy

AP McCoy

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Champion: Crabbie’s Grand National winner Many Clouds with stable lad CJ during a photocall held at trainer Oliver Sherwood’s stables

Champion: Crabbie’s Grand National winner Many Clouds with stable lad CJ during a photocall held at trainer Oliver Sherwood’s stables

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AP McCoy

Tony McCoy may have failed to add an Irish or an Aintree National to his tally this season but he might get the chance to give his fans something to cherish with victory in the Coral Scottish Grand National this weekend.

His sole triumph in the Ayr feature came on Belmont King in 1997.

McCoy's boss JP McManus currently has three entries - Cantlow, Cause Of Causes and If In Doubt. However, all three have been in action in the past week.

Cantlow was sixth under McCoy in the Irish National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday, when If In Doubt was pulled up, while Cause of Causes was eighth in the Grand National.

"Everything is up in the air in that department at the minute. We'll see tomorrow what's happening," said McManus' racing manager, Frank Berry.

Already assured of a 20th successive jockey's title, McCoy has taken a short break from the saddle.

He could return to action on Tuesday at either Exeter or Carlisle ahead of the two-day midweek meeting at Cheltenham, as the countdown continues to McCoy's final farewell on the last day of the season at Sandown on April 25.

Shutthefrontdoor may have failed to unlock a fairytale success in the Crabbie's Grand National and force McCoy to retire on the spot, but the combination had a good try.

It did look for a long way that the greatest ever jump jockey would bring the curtain down on his record-breaking career with a second triumph in the Aintree spectacular.

However, it wasn't to be as Shutthefrontdoor's run petered out and McCoy carried the colours of JP McManus into fifth place on the Jonjo O'Neill-trained runner as Many Clouds took the glory.

It was a record 20th ride in the world's greatest steeplechase for McCoy who admitted he will miss riding in such a great race.

He said: "I was very happy all the way, but just between the fourth- and the third-last I was following Many Clouds and I knew he was a dour stayer.

"I was behind him in the Hennessy and I thought I might get past him, but he stuck at it well there. I thought from the third-last I was struggling.

"I got a great ride off him and Jonjo had him in great shape. He jumped fantastic and I wouldn't mind riding him next year!

"I'm going to miss riding horses like that and in races like that. I got a great buzz out of it and I thought he could win.

"It's my last National, but it was a very enjoyable one."

Trainer Oliver Sherwood already has one eye on next year's Grand National for Many Clouds after reporting the Aintree hero in "fantastic" form the morning after his momentous triumph.

The Hennessy Gold Cup winner left connections perplexed when failing to run to expectations in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but bounced back to form in brilliant style to land the world's most famous steeplechase in the hands of Leighton Aspell.

Sherwood spent the night celebrating in Liverpool, but arrived back at his Lambourn base on Sunday morning and is thrilled with how his pride and joy has recovered from his exertions.

"Many Clouds is absolutely A1. We stayed in Liverpool last night but my staff said he was fantastic and he'd eaten up and had a buck and a kick. He's handled it better than most of the two-legged people in the yard," he said.

"I think he's a Gold Cup horse that's won a National. He can only carry a pound more next year and we'll probably train him for the National, as opposed to the Gold Cup."

Belfast Telegraph

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