Winning a Grand National is tough, winning back-to-back Grand National’s is even tougher, many have tried but only four have succeeded – Abd-El-Kader was the first horse to win back-to-back Nationals, in 1850 and 1851. The Colonel, (1869 & 1870), Reynoldstown (1935 & 1936) and Red Rum (1973 & 1974) have also retained the crown.
That looks to give last year’s returning hero Don’t Push It a tough task as he bids to emulate those famous four, although he’ll need to be in better form than he has so far demonstrated in his four hurdles runs that have been used in preparation for his 2011 Grand National bid. Not only is he trying to emulate Red Rum in winning the race back-to-back but also in becoming the last horse to win the race under top weight and anyone looking to bet on 2011 Grand National should remember this.
AP McCoy has only ridden the 11-year-old in two of his four races since his Aintree triumph and the horse has yet to finish closer than seventh in any of those races, but his latest outing did give connections some encouragement. That run in the Pertemps Final was definitely his best of the season so far and he fared better than he did in the race last year when was pulled up prior to his Aintree triumph.
He clearly faces a tough task as those Red Rum consecutive victories were 37 years ago now and in the last ten years a further eight of the last ten National winners have tried to repeat and all have failed. But all hope is not lost as two of them in particular have gone close Hedgehunter the 2005 winner was second the following year and Comply Or Die (2008) also occupied that position when trying again the following year, so anyone following the Grand National 2011 tips shouldn’t discount Don’t Push it altogether.
In fact the majority of the last ten winners that have returned to run the following year have run with credit obtaining the following record in the year after their wins – 4-6-4-10-2-6-2-F, as you can see only one failed to complete the course. That was Mon Mome the 2009 winner who fell at the 26th when trying to back-up his win from that year.
All of that evidence points to the fact that Don’t Push It will run well but the ultimate prize at Aintree may well be beyond him for a second year running.