McCoy "The Most Pressure Comes From Within"
AP McCoy's Predicted First Four In The Grand National - and the reasons why.....
1. Shutthefrontdoor - for the obvious reason that I'm riding him and hopefully he's going to win the Grand National. He won the Irish Grand National last year and he won his only start this season back at Carlisle in November. He's been trained for the race by a master trainer in Jonjo O'Neill, he's brilliant at training long distance staying chasers and I'm hoping that he's going to give me my second and final Grand National winner.
2. The Druids Nephew - very well handicapped on his form at Cheltenham, won well there and if he gets round he's definitely got a big chance
3. Rocky Creek - another obvious one for the same reasons, he won a big chase at Kempton after the Grand National weights came out, he finished fifth in the race last year and he's been specifically trained for the race by Paul Nicholls
4. Cause Of Causes - he won over 4 miles at Cheltenham at the Festival and he was obviously another horse I could have ridden. I'm hoping he doesn't finish in front of Shutthefrontdoor but I do think he goes to Aintree with a big chance
Shutthefrontdoor has always looked like a horse that has plenty of stamina and he proved that when he won the Irish Grand National. He won over three and a half miles at Fairyhouse which is obviously a challenge for jumping and stamina. Aintree is a different test with different fences, something he's never encountered before but I don't envisage any problems with that. Jonjo has a great record in the race and there's a lot going for the horse in terms of form, preparation and potential improvement.
It's the biggest betting race of the year, obviously there's going to be a lot of money and support on Shutthefrontdoor and I think it would be my proudest achievement in terms of getting one over on the bookmakers if Shutthefrontdoor wins the National. A lot of the lads in the weighing room will tell you that I've ridden more favourites to win than everyone else, but I've probably ridden more favourites to lose than everyone else too. There's always pressure on you in whatever race you ride in, but the most pressure comes from within and as much as I want to perform for everyone else, I want to perform for myself.
When the tapes go up in the Grand National it's about concentrating on the job at hand, keeping things as simple as possible and getting to the winning post before everyone else.
You treat all of the fences with respect and take them one by one but you're most frightened if you are lying at the floor of one of them. It's a very special race, the most famous and challenging race in the world and my wife Chanelle, my mum and my dad might worry a bit more about what might happen, but horse racing and being a jump jockey is dangerous. The two ambulances follow you round and you just hope it's not going to be serious if someone does end up in the back of one.
If I could go back in time and ride one horse it would be Red Rum, he was the daddy by winning three Grand Nationals. That feat will probably never be done again. We've had so many good Grand National winners in the last fifteen years, horses that you think could come back and win it again, like Don't Push It and Hedgehunter, and it's clearly a difficult task to win two but winning three is nearly impossible.
There are obviously jockeys riding in the Grand National for the first time and my advice would be keep out of my way! Seriously, they should enjoy themselves because they are very lucky and privileged to be riding in the most famous race in the world.
AP's Top Three Dinner Party Guests:
1) Tiger Woods
2) Liam Brady
3) Lester Piggott
Crabbie's Grand National (William Hill Odds) : 15-2 Shutthefrontdoor, 9-1 Rocky Creek, 10-1 Balthazar King, 14-1 The Druids Nephew, 18-1 Cause Of Causes, 20-1 Alvarado, Soll, 22-1 Godmejudge, Spring Heeled, 25-1 Al Co, Night In Milan, Pineau De Re, Unioniste, 28-1 First Lieutenant, Royale Knight, 33-1 Many Clouds, Saint Are, 40-1 Across The Bay, Ballycasey, Chance Du Roy, Court By Surprise, Lord Windermere, Monbeg Dude, Oscar Time, 50-1 Dolatulo, Mon Parrain, Rebel Rebellion, 66-1 Corrin Wood, Owega Star, Portrait King, Rubi Light, Super Duty, The Rainbow Hunter, Wyck Hill, 100-1 Bob Ford, Ely Brown, Gas Line Boy, River Choice, Tranquil Sea