2018 Grand National: McCoy sweet on Anibale Fly and Alpha Des Obeaux

Sir AP McCoy would love to still be riding and if he had a choice of a mount in the Grand National it would be Anibale Fly.

The Gold Cup third is set to race off 11st 7lbs t in the big race, but William Hill ambassador Sir AP reckons the eight-year-old needs the rain to stay away to ensure victory.

Arsenal fan Sir AP, 43, said: ‘Anibale Fly and Total Recall are the best horses in the race – if it doesn’t get too heavy.

‘If I could ride one it would be Anibale Fly – he was third in the Gold Cup so has the class.

‘And he’s getting two pounds from last year’s 4th Blaklion.

‘We are not talking about the national course of 20 years ago. It simply isn’t the challenge of jumping that it once was.’

Speaking on Ladies Day at Aintree when asked if a woman would win the big race Sir AP revealed that Saturday could become Lades Day II as three top female riders have mounts in the big race and all have a top chance.

William Hill ambassador Sir AP said: ‘Rachael Blackmore’s horse Alpha Des Obeaux has a great chance. 

‘His trainer Mouse Morris knows how to win the Grand National and got Rule The World to put up his best performance here in 2016 at 33-1.

‘Alpha Des Obeaux is the classiest of the three horses with women jockeys, but what is going to be a big factor is how much rain we get.

‘The horses that have 11st 3lbs and above will struggle if there is a lot of rain.

‘Katie Walsh’s horse only has 10st 7lbs and is a good standard and a pretty good jumper.

‘Having that sort of weight will give these horses a very good chance if it rains.

‘Milansbar Bryony Frost’s horse won at Warwick the Classic Chase – the race One For Arthur won last year before winning the Grand National.

‘They all have good chances. It is the strongest chance any girls have ever had.’

And Sir AP believes being a first time Grand National rider does not effect a jockey’s chance of landing the big one as the last three Nationals have all been won by riders with their first ride in the big race.

Sir AP said: ‘Just look at champion jockey Richard Johnson who has ridden at 18 or 19 Grand Nationals and he doesn’t even  have a ride in the race this year.

‘There are only three jockeys in the race who have ridden a Grand National winner.

‘Tiger Roll has won at three Cheltenham Festivals, but is not overly big and can make mistakes.

‘Going is a big issue for Minella Rocco. And of JP McManus’ other runners I’d rather have Carlingford Lough than Pendra.

‘But if it really rains and the going gets heavy it is the horses down the bottom of the weights with the chance as class goes out of the window.’

Though Sir AP would love a mount in the big race, the rider who rode 4,358 winners in his glittering career that saw him crowned champion jockey on 20 consecutive occasions, does not miss the travelling since his retirement.

Sir AP said: ‘I don’t miss the travelling and being in the car. I don’t miss getting up in the morning and wondering how much wright I have to lose.

‘I do miss winning, I miss riding, the competition and the discipline. You miss the training and on days’ like this you miss performing in front of the crowd.

‘But if you walk down the street and a stranger finds out you are a jockey, they don’t ask about the Gold Cup, they ask if you have won the Grand National.’

And after 15 attempts in 2010 aboard Don’t Push It at 10-1 wearing the famous gold and green hoops of owner JP McManus Sir AP landed the big un.

He added: ‘The most amazing day in my racing life was winning the Grand National on Don’t Push It.’

William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: ‘We expect turnover to exceed all past records, Hills alone will see £30 million-plus bet on the Grand National,  with an industry wide figure of up to £250 million gambled on the race.

‘Normally betting is very male centric but that is not the case for the Grand National and we’ll be expecting one in three bets to be placed by females.

‘In the run up to the race William Hill will be taking 25,000 bets per minute – almost six times more transactions then those conducted by Amazon UK on Black Friday.

‘Those figures will roll out through our 2,400 betting shops and the ripple effect will hit every other bookmaker and mobile betting will be bigger than ever.’

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