/ Racing

Tony McCoy delays Grand National call

Updated: Tuesday, 01 Apr 2014 10:45 | Comments

Tony McCoy is expected to choose between riding Colbert Station (above) and Double Seven for the big race
Tony McCoy is expected to choose between riding Colbert Station (above) and Double Seven for the big race

Tony McCoy is unlikely to make a decision on his ride in the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree until the final declarations are made on Thursday.

The record-breaking jockey is poised to choose between Irish challengers Colbert Station and Double Seven, both of whom are owned by JP McManus.

But McManus' 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".

Berry said: "Double Seven wouldn't want a lot of rain.

"Colbert Station, any rain wouldn't matter to him, he'd handle any ground, which Double Seven wouldn't."

McManus is also likely to be represented in the great race at Aintree on Saturday 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."

The forecast for rain this week will give trainer Peter Maher optimism Big Shu can give Ireland a fighting chance of winning a first Grand National since 2007.

Maher's nine-year-old finished third in the defence of his cross-country crown at Cheltenham last month, but the Co Kildare handler is anticipating further improvement at Aintree.

He told the Irish Times: "He came out grand. Good ground is not his business and it was a better race this year.

"He's always best on his third run. I think he was short at Cheltenham. He'd been sick a month before.

"Cheltenham was a remarkable run for everything to go against him. The ground went against him, things didn't go right, and Balthazar King is a good horse around Cheltenham.

"I was just so pleased to get him back in one piece after what happened during the week to the horses and jockeys that got hurt."

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