Grand National: AP McCoy wins Melling Chase on Don Cossack
|Grand National 2015, Aintree|
|Date: Saturday, 11 April. Race time: 16:15 BST|
|Coverage: Live commentaries of all the big races on BBC Radio 5 live and live text commentary online|
AP McCoy's Don Cossack romped to a 26-length victory in the Betfred Melling Chase on Ladies' Day at Aintree.
The 3-1 joint favourite, trained by Gordon Elliott, battled with Cue Card (6-1) but pulled clear with two fences to go. Johns Spirit (16-1) was third.
Last season's Champion Chase winner Sire de Grugy fell early on, as did Balder Succes later in the race.
In the Topham Chase, Sam Waley-Cohen led Rajdhani Express to victory over the Grand National fences.
The 10-1 shot raced clear to win comfortably and hand trainer Nicky Henderson another Aintree victory, while also securing amateur rider Waley-Cohen his sixth win over the famous fences.
Fairy Rath (25-1) was second, with Rathlin (20-1) third and Hunt Ball (25-1) fourth.
McCoy's Eastlake was pulled up in the Grade 3 race, but the 19-time champion jockey was in dominant form in the feature race, the Melling Chase, to register his second victory of the meeting, and a third for Elliott.
Wearing the unfamiliar purple and white colours of Gigginstown House Stud, the 40-year-old, who will ride favourite Shutthefrontdoor in his final Grand National on Saturday, took advantage of a poor run by the other joint-favourite, Champagne Fever, to take the honours.
"I got a good ride off him," said McCoy, who replaced the suspended Bryan Cooper in the saddle of Don Cossack. "I owe JP's (McManus) son Kieran a favour as we knew early in the week Uxizandre wouldn't be running."
There was, however, a concern for jockey Wayne Hutchinson, who was aboard Balder Succes and suffered an injury which means he will need to pass a doctor's test before he can ride Godsmejudge in the National.
Irishman Robbie McNamara will definitely miss out though, following a fall at Wexford. He was due to be on board top weight Lord Windermere on Saturday.