McCoy to make late decision on Grand National mount
Tony McCoy is unlikely to make a decision on whether to ride Colbert Station or Double Seven in the Crabbie’s Grand National until the final declarations are made on Thursday.
The record-breaking 18-times champion jockey faces a difficult choice, as both Irish trained horses have attractive profiles for the race.
Colbert Station, a current 20/1 shot with Coral, is trained by Ted Walsh who saddled Papillon to land a massive gamble in the race back in 2000 and also went to close winning it in 2012 when Seabass finished third to Neptune Collonges.
The 10-year-old has a similar profile to both those horses, and will be bidding to make it second time lucky in the race having unseated McCoy at The Chair last year when sent off at just 12/1.
He is now due to race off a 1lb lower mark, and the fact that he failed to complete is not a negative according to the stats as Red Marauder, Hedgehunter and Silver Birch all fell in previous Grand Nationals before winning the race.
Double Seven is a progressive staying chaser who is bidding to give County Kildare handler Martin Brassil his second win in the Aintree showpiece following the victory of Numbersixvalverde in 2006.
The eight-year-old has been a massive improver over fences, completing a five-timer on his penultimate start at Wexford off a mark of 146, having won the first of that sequence off 111.
His winning spree came to an end in the Carrickmines Handicap Chase at Leopardstown earlier in the month when he finished sixth of 12 behind Pass The Hat, but it was still a very eye-catching run and he has a win in the Munster National on his CV.
He is 25/1 with Coral for the Grand National.
Both horses are owned by JP McManus, and his racing racing manager Frank Berry told the Guardian that McCoy was expected to make up his mind “about half an hour before the jockeys have to be declared”.
The ground could well be the deciding factor as Berry said Double Seven wouldn’t want a lot of rain, whereas it would not matter to Colbert Station who goes on any ground.
McManus is also likely to be represented in Saturday’s big by the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Lost Glory, but he seems unlikely to be on McCoy’s radar.
Berry said: “He hasn’t set the world on fire. It’s hard to fancy him.”