In a remarkable career in the saddle, Sir Anthony McCoy rode over 4,000 winners but, as far as the wider public is concerned, achieved his crowning glory when winning the 2010 Grand National on Don’t Push It.
In fifteen previous attempts, McCoy had finished third in the celebrated steeplechase three times – on Blowing Wind twice, in 2001 and 2002, and Clan Royal in 2006 – but never won. Nevertheless, despite being pulled up on his previous start in the Pertemps Network Final at the Cheltenham Festival, where he reportedly ‘appeared to lose interest’, Don’t Push It was the subject of a public gamble, from 20/1 to 10/1 joint-favourite, on Grand National Day.
The market support proved well founded. The 10-year-old was well placed, just behind the leaders, heading out into the country for the second time and, despite making a mistake at the fence after Valentine;s Brook, was one of a group of four horses that drew clear with two fences left to jump. He tackled the leader, Black Apalachi, at the final fence and, although idling on the infamously long run-in, drew away in the closing stages to win by 5 lengths. McCoy later confessed, ‘It means everything to me to win the Grand National.’
Collectively, McCoy, winning trainer Jonjo O’Neill and winning owner John ‘J.P.’ McManus had made 62 attempts to win the Grand National. Don’t Push It was retired in January, 2012, at which point O’Neill reflected, ‘I think we’ll always remember the magical day he won the Grand National…as we had all been trying to win the race for so many years.’