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 dream seemed to be slipping away from him. But it finally happened for arguably the greatest jump jockey in the sport’s history.
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. 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 consider 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-favourite. That is likely because of AP McCoy’s association with the horse. The public loved 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 by 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. Of 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 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 is going to happen!
And to top it all off, one year after AP McCoy’s retirement, he received a Knighthood. Hats off to Sir AP McCoy and the unforgettable moment that both he and Don’t Push It gave the fans in 2010.
2010 Grand National Key Moments
Here are some of the notable highlights:
- The Start: The race began with a field of 40 horses and jockeys lining up at the starting line, ready to tackle the challenging course.
- The Fences: The Grand National is known for its demanding fences, and the 2010 race was no exception. The Becher’s Brook, The Chair, and the Canal Turn were among the famous fences that tested the skill and bravery of the riders.
- The Early Leaders: As the race unfolded, several horses took the lead, including Black Apalachi, Big Fella Thanks, and Tricky Trickster. They set a fast pace and captivated the spectators.
- Tricky Trickster Falls: Tricky Trickster, ridden by Barry Geraghty, fell at the 16th fence, ending its chances of victory. Thankfully, both horse and jockey emerged unharmed.
- Don’t Push It’s Triumph: The Jonjo O’Neill-trained Don’t Push It, ridden by Tony McCoy, made a strong surge in the latter stages of the race. They took the lead and held on to secure a historic victory.
- Tony McCoy’s First Grand National Win: Tony McCoy, one of the most successful jockeys in horse racing history, had previously attempted to win the Grand National on 14 occasions without success. The 2010 race marked his first victory in this prestigious event, a momentous achievement in his career.
- The Final Stretch: Don’t Push It maintained its lead in the final stretch, with Black Apalachi making a valiant effort to catch up. However, Don’t Push It’s determination prevailed, and they crossed the finish line to the crowd’s cheers.
These are some of the key moments that made the 2010 Grand National at Aintree Racecourse memorable.