Tony McCoy: celebrates winning the 2010 Grand National on Don't Push ItPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
McCoy to ride Colbert or Sunnyhillboy in National
TONY McCOY will ride either Sunnyhillboy or Colbert Station in the John Smith's Grand National after he narrowed down owner JP McManus's six-strong squad of contenders to two.
McCoy, who won his only National on the McManus-owned Don't Push It in 2010, now has to decide whether to side with last year's second Sunnyhillboy or the progressive Colbert Station.
Trained by Jonjo O'Neill, Sunnyhillboy was pulled out of the Cheltenham Gold Cup with a bad scope this month and is 20-1 to go one better than when last year, when he was agonisingly beaten a nose by Neptune Collonges.
Colbert Station, who is trained by Ted Walsh, is 16-1 and showed his wellbeing when winning a handicap hurdle last month.
McCoy, who revealed conditions at Aintree will influence his decision, said on Tuesday: "I presume it will be Sunnyhillboy or Colbert Station, but I will definitely not make my mind up until a couple of days before.
"I want to know what the ground is going to be like and want to keep my options open as long as I possibly can."
One horse who will not be lining up at Aintree is Beshabar, who was a general 25-1 chance for the race. It is the second year running Tim Vaughan's challenger has been ruled out of the world's greatest jumps race.
"Beshabar was found to have heat in a front fetlock joint this morning, and following discussions with our vet Tim Beauregar we have taken the decision to take him out of training and he will be scratched from the Grand National," said Vaughan on Tuesday.
"It is a huge blow for everyone at the yard, his work-rider Bradley Gibbs and especially for his owners Middleham Park Racing and Ann Burrows, who have been so patient since Beshabar sustained a similar injury following a fine run in the 2011 Hennessy Gold Cup."
Wales could still have a National winner in the shape of Cappa Bleu, who is trained not far from Vaughan's Cowbridge base by Evan Williams.
Fourth last year, Cappa Bleu was on Tuesday trimmed to 12-1 (from 14) for the race by Paddy Power, who also cut Irish raider Chicago Grey to 14-1 (from 16).
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