This is not the first time in his illustrious career,thatAP McCoy found that the Grand National is not the race that favours him too much.The legendary champion jockey, who said he would retire on the spot if he won the race for the second time, finished fifth on Shutthefrontdoor, the 6-1 favourite. For the second year in a row though, the spotlight was stolen by the unsung Leighton Aspell. Twelve months ago he won on Pineau De Re and this year he claimed success on Many Clouds, trained by Oliver Sherwood. None of his four previous runners in the race had managed to complete the course and two of them, 1988 favourite Sacred Path and Eric’s Charm in 2010, had fallen at the first fence.
Many Clouds passed the line one-and-three-quarter lengths in front of Tom George-trained 33-1 shot Saint Are, with 40-1 chance Monbeg Dude running a massive race in third for his trainer Michael Scudamore and his trio of former international rugby-playing owners Mike Tindall, James Simpson- Daniel and Nicky Robinson.In fourth for the second year running was Fergal O’Brien’s Alvarado, whose finishing position meant jockey Paul Moloney has remarkably been placed seven times in the race.But he never had a chance to lay a glove on Aspell and Many Clouds, who had struck for home well before the home straight.One of the first to congratulate the winning jockey was McCoy.
Aspell said: ‘He is as good in defeat as he is when he is winning. I think the only people here happy he has been beaten are me and Andrew Cooper, ( a top horseracing tipster is sure that the boss at Sandown where McCoy will now end his career on April 25 will be secretly delirious). I can’t imagine what this place would have been like if he had won.Last year I had to work hard at certain points of the race and I was a very tired man at the end but this time it was very smooth.”
AP McCoy, speaking after coming fifth said: “I was very happy all the way, but just between the fourth and the third-last I was following Many Clouds and I knew he was a dour stayer.I was behind him in the Hennessy and thought I might get past him, but he stuck at it well there. I thought from the third-last I was struggling. I got a great ride off him and Jonjohad him in great shape. He jumped fantastic and I wouldn’t mind riding him next year!I’m going to miss riding horses like that and in races like that. I got a great buzz out of it and I thought for a long way he could win.It’s my last National, but it was a very enjoyable one. I just want to say well done to Leighton Aspell and Oliver Sherwood and Trevor Hemmings. It’s great for them.”