2015 Grand National: McCoy or Walsh?

There is no punter in the world that can dispute the talents of the mercurial AP McCoy. The Northern Irish sportsman has be named the Champion Jockey for 19 successive years. Quite frankly, that is ridiculous. Besides Phil Taylor in darts, there is no other sporting star in the world that can boast such a dominant record.

However, for all McCoy’s brilliance, the Grand National has always been a place where his pedigree deserts him. It took him 15 attempts before he won the National on Don’t Push It in 2010. Whereas McCoy may dominate the day-to-day racing, Ruby Walsh is the man for Aintree.

AP McCoy by Paolo Camera

The Grand National 2015 latest odds are very attractive for anyone thinking of ante-post betting. You are then making the calculation of whether to back your brain, which would suggest McCoy, or heart, which yearns for Walsh.    

So who should you consider staking your money on?

In a nutshell, it should be Walsh.

McCoy is the greatest jump jockey of all time; nobody will ever be able to amass a record as phenomenal as his. But just because you are brilliant does not mean that you are the best at every racecourse in the country. It is natural that jockeys favour some tracks to others, and although McCoy is by no means inadequate at Aintree he just is not as good as Walsh at the Merseyside course.

The past five years have seen Walsh dominate proceedings at Aintree. Of the 92 races he has started, he has gone on to win 21, giving him a success rate of 23 per cent. McCoy, by contrast, has won 17 races of 135, equating to a 13 per cent success rate. From the figures it is clear that Aintree is Walsh’s playground, not McCoy’s.

Ruby Walsh by nakashi

As for the Grand National itself, it again makes for better reading if you are stationed in the Walsh camp. The 35-year-old has won the Grand National twice; in 2000 on Papillon – his debut Grand National – and in 2005 with the brilliant Hedgehunter. Besides the victories, Walsh has consistently finished in the top five, which for a National jockey is an impeccable record.

There is a hunger in Walsh’s belly that may be missing in McCoy’s. Walsh had his 2014 ruined by a fall, something that cost him a chance to race in the Grand National. Expect him to be fired up to mark his return to Aintree with a strong showing, which, considering his record, looks more than probable.

In conclusion, go for Walsh. He is the better jockey at Aintree and has a fire inside him that will be far more intense than the drive inside of McCoy. An each-way bet on both jockeys would also be a pretty smart move.