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Don't Push It

JP's Don't Push It a serious National contender

JP McManus has put a tremendous amount of money into jumps racing and reaped the rewards with a hatful of major successes, but until now the John Smith's Grand National has managed to elude him. Don't Push It, might just be the horse to bring the popular Irishman his first success in the race, writes Elliot Slater.

Trained by Jonjo O'Neill, Don't Push It is amongst the top weights for the four-and-a-half mile marathon having been allotted 11st 5lbs, but he is a classy performer who has continually acquitted himself well over a variety of distances and in good company.

As far back as 2007, Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting showed that Don’t Push was a horse of serious ability, appearing to be coming to win the Arkle Chase when upsides and falling at the second last. A regular in major handicap hurdles and chases since, the 10-year-old son of Old Vic won the John Smith's Handicap Chase at last year's Aintree meeting, showing a willing attitude when coming under pressure fully a circuit from home.

Ridden that day by champion jockey Tony McCoy, there is no doubt that O'Neill's charge is a 'man's ride', a horse who has to be forcefully ridden as he can at times appear to be a touch lazy. Last year's Aintree win showed however that when matters are taken in hand Don't Push It can produce the goods and he has also run well in defeat this term, including when second and staying-on well over three-and-a-half miles at Cheltenham in November.

McManus came closest to landing the National with King John's Castle, runner-up to Comply Or Die in 2008 (set to race again this year), and in Don't Push It he has another likely sort to carry his green and gold colours to prominence at the finish.

On offer at 40/1, Don't Push It, tackling the Grand National fences for the first time, is well capable of springing a surprise.

Elsewhere, make sure you check out the latest Cheltenham Odds, with the Festival just around the corner.

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