McCoy wins Grand National
Liverpool - Fourteen-times champion jockey Tony McCoy won the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday for the first time in 15 attempts on Don't Push It.
The 10-1 joint favourite - also giving trainer Jonjo O'Neill and owner JP McManus their first win - beat long-time Irish leader Black Apalachi with last year's fourth State of Play third and the other joint favourite Big Fella Thanks fourth.
"It means everything to win it - it was a negative on a CV," gasped a visibly moved McCoy, the only jockey to ride 3 000 national hunt winners.
"I am delighted - delighted for my mum and dad and my wife. My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter will be proud of me when she grows up.
"You just keep going once you are in there and got a chance of winning - I am privileged to win a national in JP's colours."
O'Neill, who as a jockey never won the race though he was more famous for his winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Irish mare Dawn Run, was speechless.
"I am lost for words - it is fantastic - I am delighted for AP - brilliant - can't get much better - until he passed the post I thought it would never happen," said O'Neill, who has fought a successful battle with cancer.
McManus, a former joint-owner of Manchester United who has been involved in jumps racing for decades, was typically humble.
"I first have to thank Frank Berry who found and bought the horse - that was a great start - full marks to Jonjo - great effort on behalf of him and his team," said McManus.
McCoy, twice third in the world's greatest steeplechase, moved his mount, whose prep race had seen him pulled up in a hurdle race, moved into pole position on the turn into the final two fences and the dreaded run-in at the Elbow.
Four were in contention on the turn including 17-year-old Sam Twiston-Davies on Hello Bud - bidding to become the second youngest jockey to win the race - Black Apalachi and Big Fella Thanks, whose rider Barry Geraghty had picked up the ride when Ruby Walsh suffered a suspected broken arm in a fall earlier in the day.
Black Apalachi lost the lead approaching the last while Hello Bud faded.
However, even though the Dessie Hughes-trained Black Apalachi - who fell when leading on the second circuit last year - came back at Don't Push It, McCoy was not to be denied and managed to get an extra burst out of his mount.
"I had a tremendous ride - he jumped from fence to fence - but I'm delighted for AP - he beat me fair and square," said a gracious Denis O'Regan, rider on the runner-up.
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