Don't Push It Grand National Wins
- 2010 - ridden by Tony McCoy trained by Jonjo O’Neill
The legacy of Don’t Push It is a straightforward one. Yes, he won the Grand National and deserves praise for that, but more importantly for many, he was the horse to give Tony McCoy his very first Grand National winner.
Arguably the greatest jockey of all time, the Grand National had previously eluded McCoy, but that was until 2010 and his 15th attempt at the race. Don’t Push It was the horse to get him over the line, winning the race by five lengths after a trademark strong drive from McCoy up the run-in.
Foaled on June 6th, 2000, Don’t Push It retired from racing in 2011, a year after his famous win and one race after his second attempt to win the Grand National, which resulted in a third placed finish.
Don’t Push It will always be known as the horse that carried McCoy to a National win.
|2011||3||£100,890||11-10||Tony McCoy||Jonjo O’Neill|
|2010||1||£521,052||11-5||Tony McCoy||Jonjo O’Neill|
Winner Of The 2010 Grand National
That win came in 2010, the 15th attempt McCoy made to win the race. However, while he gave the horse a great ride, this was also down to the horse, too, not just the rider.
This wasn’t a race for the faint-hearted, and while McCoy had no luck in the race prior to this year, he did get a bit of luck this time. Just 14 horses finished the contest, with many falling or unseating their rider. Don’t Push It jumped really well to stay on his feet, and when anything happened in front of him, he was able to move around and keep clear from the trouble.
Prior to the win, Don’t Push It’s last victory was at the Aintree Grand National festival 12 months earlier, showing his love for the Aintree track and also spring racing. That was off a handicap mark of 143, while his Grand National win came off 153. Despite that, he was sent off as the 10/1 joint-favourite, an indication of the support that McCoy had to win the race, as much as an indication of his chances.
When it came to the race’s closing stages, this was all about the heart of the horse and the drive of McCoy. Jumping the last, Don’t Push It was almost level with Black Apalachi, but the long run-in saw them separated. Don’t Push It had more left in the tank and the heart to go and win the race, which he did.
The eventual winning distance was five lengths, which was pretty comfortable in the end, and gave the horse and McCoy a fully deserved success. The scenes afterwards in the winner’s enclosure and around the course were special, given the jockey involved.
A year later, Don’t Push It would return to the Grand National and run very well again under McCoy. He finished third behind Ballabriggs, another awe-inspiring run, but unfortunately, this time around, the weight he had to carry was just a little too much for him.
Don’t Push It’s Early Years
Don’t Push It didn’t start in the point-to-point field or racing elsewhere as some horses do. He spent his entire career under the care of trainer Jonjo O’Neill and ran his whole career under rules while trained in Great Britain.
His debut came in December 2004, a national hunt flat race where he came third at Warwick. He reran the following season and switched to hurdles just before Christmas, a race in which he won. He landed a flat race and a hurdles races in these early years but would not run again that season due to injury. However, even in these early days, it was clear that the horse would become even better when jumping the bigger obstacles.
Don’t Push It’s Big Race Wins
Over his career, Don’t Push It won a total of eight races, with the Grand National success being the only real big win of his career. He won a couple of class 2 chase events and a listed handicap hurdle, but of course, those are all very small compared to the Grand National.
That win came in 2010, and the closest he came to anything else like that was his third-place finish in the 2011 Grand National. He also finished second in a Grade Three handicap at Cheltenham, too but was unable to add another success to it.
Not a prolific winner, unfortunately, but the winner of the biggest race in the UK, the Grand National. Not only that, but Don’t Push It has the honour of being the horse that carried home one of the greatest jockeys, AP McCoy, to his first Grand National success. They nearly did it together a year later, too, with a great third placed effort, falling just short in the end.