Don’t Push It, who won the Grand National in 2010, has the distinction of being the one and only winner of the celebrated steeplechase ridden by Sir Anthony Peter ‘A.P.’ McCoy. His victory was also a first for owner John Patrick ‘J.P.’ McManus and trainer John Joseph ‘Jonjo’ O’Neill but, unlike McCoy, who retired from race riding in April, 2015, they both have prospects of adding to their winning tally.
Foaled on June 6, 2000, Don’t Push It started his racing career in ‘bumpers’, winning one at Market Rasen, as a five-year-old, in September, 2005, before making a winning debut over obstacles in a ‘fixed brush’ novices’ hurdle at Haydock three months later. After an absence of nearly a year, he was put straight over fences, winning two of his three starts and finishing second, beaten three-quarters of a length, behind Denman, in a novices’ chase at Cheltenham on the other.
For the remainder of his career, he switched back and forth between hurdles and fences, but was always better – 27lb better, according to official figures – over the larger obstacles. In fact, he won five of his 14 starts over fences, earning over £715,000 in win and place prize money, but just two of his 13 starts over hurdles, earning just over £37,000. Of course, regardless of his previous, or subsequent, race record, his defining performance came on what Jonjo O’Neill later called a ‘magical day’ at Aintree in April, 2010.
Well-backed, into 10/1 joint-favourite from double those odds on the morning of the race, Don’t Push It jumped impeccably in mid-division for the first circuit, before taking a more prominent position on the second. He moved into second place behind Black Apalachi at the second last fence, as the likes of Big Fella Thanks and Hello Bud dropped away, tackled the leader at the final fence and stayed on well to win by 5 lengths and give McCoy – who’d finished no better than third in fourteen previous attempts – a memorable win.