Sunday 18 February 2018

McCoy ranks Wichita triumph over Grand National

Tony McCoy's success in the Grand National may have catapulted him to favouritism for the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year, but the champion jockey only ranks the ride as the second-best of his career.

McCoy has ridden in more than 13,000 races during his 21 years as a jockey, winning more than 3,300 races, and he believes his effort on Wichita Lineman in the William Hill Trophy at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival was his greatest so far.

Riding the reluctant and poor-jumping gelding, McCoy simply would not take no for an answer and managed to cajole him enough to rally on the run-in and lead close to the line.

Considering the Antrim native held such a burning desire to win the National after 14 previous disappointments, it is not surprising to see Don't Push It making it into second on his list, but the rest are not as easy to predict. His third favourite is his ride on the Martin Pipe-trained Pridwell in the 1998 Aintree Hurdle.

Fourth on the list was a gallant ride aboard Edredon Bleu in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, a rather greater prize than he claimed on number five, the Feast of St Raymond Novices' Chase at Southwell.

One of the most bizarre races in years, Family Business unseated McCoy at the 10th fence, seemingly leaving victory to one of the other runners. However, a succession of mistakes led to McCoy remounting Family Business, regaining the lead and giving backers of the odds-on favourite an amazing reprieve.

At number six is another example of converting victory from almost certain defeat when making up six lengths jumping the last on Hennessy in the 2009 Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

Another of the more recent efforts is McCoy's number seven, when his mount Drill Sergeant tried to pull himself up at Haydock and was overtaken by the 12 other runners before McCoy regained the lead.

Next up is McCoy's front-running ride on Deano's Beeno to defeat hot favourite Baracouda in the 2002 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.

The final two are the narrow victory on Champleve in the 1998 Arkle, and galvanising Brave Inca home in the 2005 Punchestown Champion Hurdle.

Tony McCoy's top 10 best rides:

1 Wichita Lineman, 2009 William Hill Trophy, Cheltenham; 2 Don't Push It, 2010 John Smith's Grand National, Aintree; 3 Pridwell, 1998 Martell Aintree Hurdle, Aintree; 4 Edredon Bleu, 2000 Queen Mother Champion Chase, Cheltenham; 5 Family Business, 2002 Feast of St Raymond Chase, Southwell; 6 Hennessy, 2009 Bet365 Gold Cup Chase, Sandown; 7 Drill Sergeant, 2010 Home of Jump Racing Hurdle, Haydock; 8 Deano's Beeno, 2002 Cantor Sport Long Walk Hurdle, Ascot; 9 Champleve, 1998 Guinness Arkle Challenge Trophy, Cheltenham; 10 Brave Inca, 2005 Emo Oil Champion Hurdle, Punchestown.

Irish Independent

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