Most jockey’s are not lucky enough to be given their pick of Grand National Runners and to some extent, neither is AP McCoy but what he does have is a large pool to choose from and that’s because he is retained by multi-millionaire and racehorse owner JP McManus, for whom he won the 2010 Grand National on Don’t Push It.
JP McManus has 11 entries in this year’s Grand National and with the weights having been revealed earlier in the week, it now looks likely that AP will ride one of two possible contenders – Double Seven or Colbert Station.
Colbert Station ran in the 2013 renewal but unseated McCoy on the first circuit, despite going off at very short odds, mostly due to the fact that AP was on board but hopes are high that he can do better this time around although his current form leaves a lot to be desired.
He’s had four races this season and other than a third place finish at Navan, back in November, hasn’t really produced the goods, unseating and finishing in 10th and 11th place. He’s also the heavier weighted of the two at 11-00.
Double Seven, in contrast, is on the form of his life with five back-to-back wins racked up since June of last year. He’s also more favourably weighted at 10-11 and in the time it took to unveil the weights he had gone from ante-post odds of 50/1 right down to 25/1 with many of the UK’s leading bookmakers.
Should AP McCoy opt to pair up with him on April 5th then you be sure that those odds will shrink even further.
Jo McManus’ Racing Manager, Frank Berry, spoke after the weights were revealed saying: “Colbert Station ran very well in the race last year when AP rode him. He forgot to take off at the Chair and the rest is history. He is very well and Ted [Walsh] is happy with him.
“We have Double Seven who has had a fantastic summer. He’s won five and if the ground turned up good I’d say it would be a toss up [for AP to ride] between Colbert Station and Double Seven.”
As is common practise, we won’t actually know who AP opts for until much closer to the time and until then the speculation will be rife.