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Don’t Push It

I haven’t read any printed matter on AP’s Grand National win yet, so I am hoping my take is original, but somehow I doubt it.

Yesterday morning, having backed my long-term fancy State of Play I considered the well-made point that always backing AP to break his National duck was a bet that would eventually pay out. AP being what he is, a punter’s favourite, was hardly ever likely to dot up on a big outsider and the fact that yesterday’s ride entered the National Market at 50/1, but had contracted to 10s by the off was due to the McCoy factor.

As it happened I forgot to back him, partly because I couldn’t remember which horse he had finally opted for and partly because I was not that convinced in the rhetoric. Although my own choice could not, and probably won’t ever win, I can still rejoice with all true NH fans that our greatest jump jockey has finally shoved that monkey off his back.

This was a triumvirate of broken National maidens yesterday. Jonjo and JP, the trainer and owner, also enjoyed their first ever National win. No wonder there was a bit of salt water shed.

And how interesting, to me anyway, that the horse (who according to Jonjo couldn’t really win) was named in an exact opposite to how AP approaches riding, and one assumes, his whole life. AP is always pushing it. He pushes himself and he pushes his horses. He even pushes those around him. One of my favourite AP anecdotes is this after his mate Ruby Walsh took a bad fall at the Paddy Power Open meeting in November 2008:

“They took a scan of the spleen. The surgeon said it was ruptured but he wanted to keep me in for 10 days of observation to see if it might start to heal itself. I’m thinking, ‘Jesus, this is too sore to ever heal. Just take the f****r out. McCoy says, ‘Ten days! Ruby can’t be waiting that long. You should rip it out.’ The surgeon says he can’t just take out a spleen. But McCoy insists, ‘Take it out.” Walsh describes how pal Tony McCoy helped his recovery from that Cheltenham injury.

Ruby was back in 5 weeks flat to ride Kauto Star to victory in the King George. Ruby also took a nasty yesterday from Celestial Halo and missed the National. Maybe it’s just as well AP was otherwise engaged and couldn’t instruct Ruby’s doctor to do likewise with the arm.

You’d have to guess he’d be a hard man to live with, but he is a genius in the saddle and that doesn’t come easy. I don’t always love his rides, so insistent is he at times, but no-one could deny him his National win forever and at 35 I am glad he’s done it.

Maybe Tony, just maybe, you can relax a little bit now?

Cracking a rare smile. Don't Push It doesn't share the sentiment

Pssst they say there’s a horse race this afternoon…

It’s the Grand National again apparently.

Listen, I love the tradition, the romance, the old stories, but I can’t bear to watch the race.

Do you KNOW how big the big fences are? Did you know a grown man can only cower in the shadow of Becher’s drop? This race is a massive test of man and beast. Don’t watch it lightly.

Red Rum @ Southport

I want State of Play to win. Other than that I will settle for safe return all round.

Weights for the Grand National 2010

These have been published today. Fallout so far: Mouse Morris says War of Attrition won’t run with the allotted weight. Our own AMB’s (the blog’s resident Grand National expert) pick Niche Market has gone up 4lb for his good showing in the Aon.

From my own point of view I have always been sweet on State of Play and he gets in on a lightweight, along with another former Hennessy winner, Trabolgan.

Over to AMB and her traffic light coded spreadsheet 🙂

Weights for the John Smith’s Grand National

Horse Age Weight Trainer

ALBERTAS RUN 9-11-10 Jonjo O’Neill
MADISONDU BERLAIS 9-11-10 David Pipe
NOTRE PERE 9-11-10 Jim Dreaper
TARANIS 9-11-09 Paul Nicholls
OUR VIC 12-11-08 David Pipe
MON MOME 10-11-07 VenetiaWilliams
BLACK APALACHI 11-11-06 Dessie Hughes
JOE LIVELY 11-11-06 Colin Tizzard
VIC VENTURI 10-11-06 Dessie Hughes
COMPLY OR DIE 11-11-05 David Pipe
DON’T PUSH IT 10-11-05 Jonjo O’Neill
IRISH INVADER 9-11-05 Willie Mullins
MADE IN TAIPAN 8-11-04 Tom Mullins
NICHE MARKET 9-11-04 Bob Buckler
TRICKY TRICKSTER 7-11-04 Paul Nicholls
CASEY JONES 9-11-03 Noel Meade
CLOUDY LANE 10-11-03 Donald McCain Jnr
DREAM ALLIANCE 9-11-03 Philip Hobbs
NOZIC 9-11-03 Paul Nicholls
POSSOL 7-11-03 Henry Daly
SIEGEMASTER 9-11-03 Dessie Hughes
MY WILL 10-11-02 Paul Nicholls
PABLO DU CHARMIL 9-11-02 David Pipe
ONE COOL COOKIE 9-11-01 Charlie Swan
WAR OF ATTRITION 11-11-01 Mouse Morris
BACKSTAGE 8-11-00 Gordon Elliott
BALLYHOLLAND 9-11-00 Colin McBratney
BEAT THE BOYS 9-11-00 Nigel Twiston-Davies
PREISTS LEAP 10-11-00 Tom O’Leary
ROULEZ COOL 7-11-00 Robert Waley-Cohen
BERONI 8-10-13 Willie Mullins
CAN’T BUY TIME 8-10-13 Jonjo O’Neill
LE BEAU BAI 7-10-13 Richard Lee
SEVEN IS MY NUMBER 8-10-13 David Pipe
SNOWY MORNING 10-10-13 Willie Mullins
AIR FORCE ONE (GER) 8-10-12 Brian Walsh Charlie Mann
BIG FELLA THANKS 8-10-12 Paul Nicholls
DARKNESS 11-10-12 Charles Egerton
DEUTSCHLAND (USA) 7-10-12 Willie Mullins
LOUPING D’AINAY 11-10-12 ancois Cottin
CHARACTERBUILDING 10-10-11 John Quinn
CHELSEAHARBOUR 10-10-11 Mullins
DOONEYS GATE 9-10-11 Willie Mullins
GONE TO LUNCH 10-10-11 Jeremy Scott
KORNATI KID 8-10-11 Philip Hobbs
STATE OF PLAY 10-10-11 Evan Williams
ELLERSLIE GEORGE 10-10-10 Nick Mitchell
FOLLOW THE PLAN 7-10-10 Oliver McKiernan
JAYO 7-10-10 Willie Mullins
ROYALCOUNTYSTAR 11-10-10 Tony Martin
BALLYFITZ 10-10-09 Nigel Twiston-Davies
CONNA CASTLE 11-10-09 Jimmy Mangan
EQUUS MAXIMUS 10-10-09 Willie Mullins
ERIC’S CHARM 12-10-09 Oliver Sherwood
KING JOHNS CASTLE 11-10-09 Arthur Moore
OLLIE MAGERN 12-10-09 Nigel Twiston-Davies
ARBOR SUPREME 8-10-08 Willie Mullins
CANE BRAKE 11-10-08 Tom Taaffe
KILCREA CASTLE 8-10-08 Emma Lavelle
LENNON 10-10-08 Howard Johnson
MALJIMAR 10-10-08 Nick Williams
NEW ALCO 9-10-08 Ferdy Murphy
BIBLE LORD 9-10-07 Andy Turnell
IRISH RAPTOR 11-10-07 Nigel Twiston-Davies
MR POINTMENT 11-10-07 Paul Murphy
PARSONS PISTOL 8-10-07 Noel Meade
PIRAYA 7-10-07 David Pipe
RAZOR ROYALE 8-10-07 Nigel Twiston-Davies
THE PACKAGE 7-10-07 David Pipe
HELLO BUD 12-10-06 Nigel Twiston-Davies
IRIS DE BALME 10-10-06 Sean Curran
PALYPSO DE CREEK 7-10-06 Charlie Longsdon
TRUST FUND 12-10-06 Richard Barber
ABBEYBRANEY 9-10-05 Howard Johnson
CERIUM 9-10-05 Paul Murphy
FLINTOFF (USA) 9-10-05 VenetiaWilliams
PARSONS LEGACY 12-10-05 Philip Hobbs
ROYAL ROSA 11-10-05 Howard Johnson
SILVER BIRCH 13-10-05 Gordon Elliott
COE 8-10-04 Sue Smith
GLENFINN CAPTAIN 11-10-04 Tom Taaffe
KNOWHERE 12-10-04 Nigel Twiston-Davies
OODACHEE 11-10-04 Charlie Swan
WHINSTONE BOY 9-10-04 Jimmy Mangan
FAASEL 9-10-03 David Pipe
MUMBLES HEAD 9-10-03 Peter Bowen
OFFICIER DE RESERVE 8-10-03 VenetiaWilliams
SIZING AUSTRALIA 8-10-03 Henry de Bromhead
TRABOLGAN 12-10-03 Nicky Henderson
CHIEF DAN GEORGE 10-10-02 Jimmy Moffatt
DUERS 8-10-02 Paul Magnier
BALLYTRIM 9-10-01 Willie Mullins
OFFSHORE ACCOUNT 10-10-01 Charlie Swan
PAK JACK 10-10-01 Richard Phillips
BOYCHUK 9-10-00 Philip Hobbs
KINGS ADVOCATE 10-10-00 Tom Taaffe
TREACLE 9-10-00 Tom Taaffe
GALANT NUIT 6-9-13 Ferdy Murphy
ANOTHERCOPPERCOAST 10-9-12 Paul Roche
BELON GALE 7-9-12 Howard Johnson
POMME TIEPY 7-9-12 Willie Mullins
MERIGO 9-9-10 Andrew Parker
CHIARO 8-9-09 Philip Hobbs
KILBEGGAN BLADE 11-9-09 Tom George
ACCORDING TO JOHN 10-9-08 Nicky Richards
LORUM LEADER 9-9-07 Dr Richard Newland
OLD BENNY 9-9-07 Alan King
OVER THE CREEK 11-9-04 David Pipe
COSSACK DANCER 12-9-01 Mark Bradstock
WEE ROBBIE 10-9-00 Nick Gifford
OFFALY 9-8-12 Pru Townsley