Tony McCoy finally won the Grand National at the 15th
attempt as the world’s greatest steeplechase took
place at Aintree, where JMU Journalism also had a winner.
Champion jockey McCoy guided 10-1 joint-favourite Don’t Push It to a
five-length victory over Black Apalachi, with State of Play third and
Big Fella Thanks in fourth.
Coleen Rooney was at Aintree to present the award for Best Dressed in
the Style 2010 competition, which was won by JMU Journalism’s
Entertainment Reporter, Sophie Fairclough. Sophie beat just under
2,000 entrants to win a brand new car, a holiday for two in Barbados,
and her own photoshoot in London.
Sophie, daughter of Liverpool legend David Fairclough, wore an emerald
green outfit when she was presented with her prizes, and the first year
student said afterwards: "I still can't believe it, definitely hasn't hit me yet."
She was named the winner out of five finalists, chosen by judges
including TV make-over stars Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, Hollyoaks
actor Ricky Whittle, and Cricket fashion guru Justine Mills.
Sophie added: "The day is still a blur, I can't believe this has happened
to me. It's the kind of thing that never happens to you or anyone you know
- it's so surreal. I am so shocked. I only entered with the girls as a bit of
fun. I had no idea I would get to the final five never mind win. The pain of
my shoes was definitely worth it!"
In the big event on Saturday, Northern Irishman McCoy, who has ridden
more than 3,000 winners in his illustrious career, ended a losing streak
of 14 previous races to win the one that meant most to him.
Fighting back tears after the race, McCoy said: “It means everything to
me to win the Grand National. I've won lots of big races and I'm
supposed to be a good jockey, but to not win the Grand National would
be a bit of a negative on the CV."
The result was a disaster for bookmakers, with punters around the
country keeping faith with McCoy to back Don’t Push It from 20-1 at the
beginning of the day, to 10-1 at the off. Money spent on bets for the
Grand National was expected to reach around £300m.
40 runners lined up to start the race, although King John's Castle
refused to start, and most were still in contention at the beginning of the
second circuit, with 14 finishing the course.
The four-mile four-furlong race is the ultimate test for a horse and jockey, with some of the largest and most difficult jumps in racing, including famous hurdles such as The Chair, Becher’s Brook and the Canal Turn.
The 163rd running of the famous race was the main event of the successful three-day meeting, which saw more than 150,000 people flock to Aintree. 70,000 race-goers attended on Saturday to watch the
Grand National and enjoy the glorious weather.
Thursday saw the first ever Liverpool Day, a celebration of culture in the city, and Friday was the annual Ladies’ Day, which has become a fashion parade for women in Liverpool.
By Chris Shaw
More sports stories
Grand National pictures
McCoy rode Don't Push It to victory, finishing ahead of a field of 40 in the 2010 Grand National (pics: Vegard Grott)
Sophie is Entertainment Reporter
for JMU Journalism Liverpool Life