One of the most pressing questions for those weighing up which horse to support in next month’s Aintree Grand National, is which horse will champion jockey Tony McCoy ride? The answer is still far from clear with less than three weeks to go before the great race itself, writes Elliot Slater.
McCoy is contracted to leading NH owner JP McManus, owner of last year’s hero Don’t Push It, the horse that provided McCoy with his longed for success in the ‘world’s greatest steeplechase’ and who remains a leading contender for this year’s renewal. Synchronized, winner of the Welsh Grand National and a good third in the Midlands equivalent at Uttoxeter on Saturday is another live contender, and then there’s the Willie Mullins-trained Arbor Supreme, a horse with plenty of ability, and who has not yet been ruled out of the reckoning for being McCoy’s mount on the big day. Those looking at the Grand National odds should keep a close eye on McCoy’s decision.
Arbor Supreme came to grief at The Chair in last year’s National having jumped soundly up until that point. This year’s Aintree marathon has been the target for the nine-year-old Supreme Leader gelding ever since. Pulled up in the Chepstow mud in January behind Synchronised, Arbor Supreme showed he was coming to hand when making his stable companion and current Grand National ante-post favourite The Midnight Club pull out all the stops in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse last month, eventually going under by just one length.
A horse who is capable of going on any ground other than firm, who seems to stay well and is usually a sound jumper, Arbor Supreme appeals as just the right type to run a big race at Aintree and his low weight of 10s 3lbs should see him sneak into the race off a tempting mark. It will be interesting to learn just how seriously the 25/1 chance is being considered as the potential McCoy mount.