Easily one of the greatest moments in Grand National history is when AP McCoy finally raced across the line riding Don’t Push it as the winner. After fourteen previous attempts, this was a dream that had seemed to be slipping away from him. But, it finally happened for arguably the greatest jump jockey in the history of the sport.
For the 2010 Grand National, AP McCoy chose to ride Don’t Push It, who had odds of 25/1 leading up to the day of the race. In order to win the Grand National, a horse has to prove he has the stamina and skill to tackle four and a half miles of racecourse with thirty jumps to navigate through the race.
The Grand National is well-regarded as the toughest race in the horseracing world. Only the trainers of the best horses and jockeys with huge amounts of talent and determination would even dare to think of entering it.
Don’t Push It Race Favourite
On the day of the Grand National, betting skyrocketed and Don’t Push It was backed as the 10-1 joint-favorite. That is likely because of AP McCoy’s association with the horse. The public love AP and really wanted to see him finally win a National.
At the time he was fourteen times champion jockey and had more than 3,200 winners. But winning the Grand National put an extremely broad smile on the face of McCoy.
He stated “I had to keep consoling myself that Peter Scudamore and John Francome were great champions who never won the race and that I was, at least, in good company.”
Not anymore! Some speculated that McCoy would stop racing once he won the National. But he kept in the saddle for a further five years winning a thousand more races. He now has a record 4,358 winners to his name.
Trained by Jonjo O’Neill and owned JP McManus, Don’t Push It and McCoy put in an outstanding performance. With absolutely no errors they ran home five lengths ahead of Black Apalachi.
The 2010 race was a tough one. From the starting forty runners, only fourteen finished the race. King John’s Castle, one of the four McManus horses in the race, didn’t even start. The remaining field either fell or were pulled-up by their jockeys.
Fortunately, out of all the falls and tumbles that make the National the exciting race that it is, all the horses returned unscathed. The only human casualty was Wayne Hutchinson who went home for a hand X-ray after falling at the first on Eric’s Charm.
The Grand National Winner
Don’t Push It was bred by McManus’s racing manager Frank Berry, who said after his win: “I thought his time had passed him by. He’s always been a nearly horse”. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Don’t Push It was a smart novice chaser who had previously won the 2009 John Smiths Handicap Chase at Aintree under AP McCoy. He beat Leading Contender by three and a half lengths, despite being 11 pounds heavier.
He might not have been fully convincing as a Grand National cert prior to the Aintree meeting, as he was pulled up at the Cheltenham Festival the month prior. Even, his owner JP McManus admitted that he “just had a few quid on big fella” but it goes to show that in a race as tough and inspiring as the Grand National, you just never know what going to happen!
It’s fair to say, that the Grand National win raised the profile of AP McCoy even higher. He went onto become the first jockey ever to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2010.
And to top it all off, one year after AP McCoy’s retirement he received a Knighthood. Hats of to Sir AP McCoy and the unforgettable moment that both he and Don’t Push It gave the fans in 2010.