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Will AP McCoy slay the bookies on Grand National day?


McCoy riding 2015 Grand National favourite Shutthefrontdoor on 11 April

Tony McCoy has had an illustrious and unprecedented career as a National Hunt jockey, although the end is nigh for the 40-year-old who has decided to call it a day at the end of this season.

Having recently competed in his final Cheltenham Festival, McCoy will now head to Aintree to ride in the Grand National for the final time and the Irishman is on board race favourite Shutthefrontdoor who is currently trading at odds of 7/1.

McCoy rode Don’t Push It to National success in 2010 which was a long time coming, although the 19-time champion jockey would dearly love to bow out with a triumph at Aintree in the biggest steeplechase going.

Shutthefrontdoor won the Irish Grand National last year and certainly has the credentials to land victory, with the horse’s price likely to shorten as we get closer to race day and the bookies certainly don’t want McCoy to win.

The likes of bet365, Ladbrokes and William Hill will be paying out tens of millions to punters should the favourite oblige, with everyone likely to want to be backing a McCoy horse even if the jockey admitted that Shutthefrontdoor is not a value bet.

“I’m very likely to ride Shutthefrontdoor but I won’t commit finally until close to declaration time – there is plenty of time yet for something to go wrong,” said McCoy in The Times.

“I’m not sure he should be such a short price, and it’s a long time since he ran, but something would have to happen for me to switch from him.

“His trainer (Jonjo O’Neill) has a fantastic record with staying chasers and the horse is obviously in good form. I rode him round a circuit of Southwell last week and he jumped very well.

“If I don’t win it, I’ll go on until Sandown. It’s the end of the British season and they have been good enough to name a race after me (the bet365 AP McCoy Celebration Chase).

“I did have some thoughts about Punchestown, the following week, but I definitely won’t be riding there. If I did that, I might just as well carry on and I won’t be doing that.”

One bookmaker goes as short as 6/1 that the horse obliges in the Grand National, with Rocky Creek, Balthazar King and The Druid’s Nephew also likely to be bad results for the bookies, although one horse will spell disaster.

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