Sunday, April 11, 2010
Tony McCoy wins the National: The greatest horse race won by the greatest jockey
Well, I was down on my bets on the race overall- despite an each-way return on third-placed State of Play - but who cares after such a memorable outcome. It was great just to be at Aintree to witness what the Racing Post has described as ‘the defining moment of a legend’.
14 times champion jockey Tony McCoy had tried to win the Grand National- 14 times he’d failed, often in the most unfortunate of circumstances (just think back to him being carried out by a loose horse when cantering on Clan Royal at second Becher’s in 2005). Yesterday, it finally all came right for the greatest jump jockey the sport has ever seen.
As Lee Mottershead writes in today’s Racing Post: ‘Now at long last, let him be handed the recognition he deserves. Give him his due, give him the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ward, heck, give him the keys to Downing Street if he wants them. Tony McCoy has won the Grand National. What a joy that is to write.'
Camaraderie has disappeared from much of our society, but it still exists, as I argued here, in the jockeys' weighing room, as the generous tributes paid to McCoy after the race by his rivals shows. And let's not forget Don't Push It's trainer Jonjo O'Neill, one of the nicest men in any sport, and who was also celebrating his first ever Grand National success.