Don’t Push It is a smart novice chaser, who in the 2006-07 season lost by just three quarters of a length to Denman in the Jim Brown Memorial Chase at Cheltenham.
He proved a frustrating bet for punters following his promising beginnings, falling in the Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase at Cheltenham in March 2007, and again at the Festival the following year in the Racing Post Plate Handicap Chase.
While punters wondered if they had set their sights too high for then eight year old, trainer Jonjo O’Neill did the wise thing and reverted him back to hurdles in a bid to get the horses confidence back up. In true O’Neill fashion, the technique worked as was proved when he was brought back to larger obstacles for the 2009 John Smiths Handicap Chase at Aintree.
He won the race with a fine ride from jockey Tony McCoy, beating Leading Contender by three and a half lengths, despite being 11 pounds heavier.
2009 saw Don’t Push It being mixed between hurdles and fences and he ran some very good races over the smaller obstacles – he finished six lengths behind Fair Along in the qualifier for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham, but then only managed to come in seventh place in the Pertemps Final in March 2009.
2010 was a fantastic year for him as he romped home to win the 2010 Grand National giving AP McCoy his first win in 15 attempts. Of course this also means that he’s going to have short odds for the 2011 race but if he can do it once, maybe he can do it again!
The 2011 Grand National wasn’t as successful as the previous year with Dont Push It coming home in third place behind Oscar Time and the winner Ballabriggs but it was always going to be an enormous task having been given the highest handicap so third place is pretty remarkable.
Will he try again in 2012? He won’t escape the handicapper and he will also be 12 years old…
Photo Credit | Meteorshoweryn