McCoy facing tough Grand National decision

Owner JP McManus has 11 entries in this year’s Crabbie’s Grand National, and his racing manager believes Colbert Station and Double Seven offer the best chance of success for retained jockey Tony McCoy.

McCoy broke his Grand National duck when partnering Don’t Push It to victory in 2010, a win which also provided McManus with his first success in the contest.

He partnered Colbert Station in last year’s contest, but McManus’ racing manager Frank Berry believes it will be a tough decision for McCoy to stick with him again or side with the progressive Double Seven.

Speaking at the unveiling of the Grand National weights, Berry said: “He could ride Colbert Station, who ran well last year but forgot to take off at The Chair. Ted Walsh seems happy with him.

“Double Seven has won five and done very well – I should think it will be a toss-up between those two for AP.”

Colbert Station has been allotted 11st by BHA handicapper Phil Smith, 1lb less than 12 months ago, while Double Seven is set to carry 10st 11lb.

The latter is trained by Martin Brassil and is improving at a rate of knots.

Having won his first chase off a mark of 111, he is now rated 146 and still looked ahead of the handicapper when winning by five lengths at Wexford last time out.

At eight-years-old he is also open to more improvement than the 10-year-old Colbert Station, and given his rate of progression he is unlikely to get in the race again off such a handy mark.

He also ticks plenty of the right boxes stats wise based on the last 10 winners of the race having run in at least 10 chases, won over 3 m, and having a handicap rating above 135.

Coral go an industry best price of 40/1 about Double Seven for this year’s National, while Colbert Station is a 20/1 chance.

If McCoy does choose the former then his odds will tumble dramatically for the Aintree spectacular on Saturday, April 5th.