• Grand National

McCoy to ride Colbert Station in National

ESPN staff
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Imperial Commander has been working well in recent weeks © Getty Images
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Imperial Commander heads a maximum field of 40 for the Grand National, while AP McCoy has elected to ride Colbert Station.

The 2010 Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander was denied a run at Cheltenham by illness but has been nursed back to form by trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. He will have to shoulder 11st 10lb and it will be a family affair as the trainer's son Sam will be in the saddle.

McCoy had been agonising over whether to ride Colbert Station or last year's runner-up Sunnyhillboy. And right on the declaration deadline, he has come down in favour of the Irish raider who was an impressive winner of the Paddy Power Chase in December.

"It's been very hard but after speaking to JP McManus, who owns both of them, this morning we've decided I'll ride Colbert Station," McCoy told the Telegraph. "I can't ride both of them and while he does not have the Aintree experience of Sunnyhillboy he looks less exposed to the handicapper and has a proper racing weight."

As expected, Ruby Walsh has opted to ride ante-post favourite On His Own but he could be challenged for favouritism on the day by McCoy's ride who is trained by Walsh's father, Ted.

Viking Blond has scraped into the race at No. 40 after there were four withdrawals ahead of him: Poker De Sivola, Quinz, Pearlysteps and Backstage. Pentiffic and Mortimers Cross are the reserves.

1 Imperial Commander - N Twiston-Davies - S Twiston-Davies
2 What A Friend - P Nicholls - S Thomas
3 Weird Al - D McCain - T Murphy
4 Quel Esprit - W Mullins - P Townend
5 Big Fella Thanks - T George - D O'Regan
6 Seabass - T Walsh - K Walsh
7 Roberto Goldback - N Henderson - B Geraghty
8 Sunnyhillboy - J O'Neill - R McLernon
9 Ballabriggs - D McCain - J Maguire
10 Teaforthree - R Curtis - N Scholfield
11 Across The Bay - D McCain - H Brooke
12 Join Together - P Nicholls - D Jacob
13 Colbert Station - T Walsh - AP McCoy
14 Forpadydeplasterer - T Cooper - A McNamara
15 On His Own - W Mullins - R Walsh
16 Joncol - P Nolan -R Power
17 Balthazar King - P Hobbs -R Johnson
18 Cappa Bleu - E Wililams - P Moloney
19 Oscar Time - M Lynch - S Waley-Cohen
20 Always Waining - P Bowen -T O'Brien
21 Tatenen - R Rowe - AThornton
22 Treacle T Taaffe - A Lynch
23 Lost Glory - J O'Neill -M Walsh
24 Swing Bill - D Pipe -C O'Farrell
25 Saint Are - T Vaughan - D Costello
26 Chicago Grey - G Elliott - P Carberry
27 Quiscover Fontaine - W Mullins -D Casey
28 Rare Bob - D Hughes - B Cooper
29 The Rainbow Hunter - K Bailey - A Coleman
30 Becauseicouldntsee - N Glynn - M Ferris
31 Harry The Viking - P Nicholls - R Mahon
32 Mr Moonshine - S Smith - P Buchanan
33 Mumbles Head - P Bowen - J Moore
34 Ninetieth Minute - T Taaffe - N Madden
35 Auroras Encore - S Smith - R Mania
36 Tarquinius - G Elliott - K Renwick
37 Any Currency - M Keighley - I Popham
38 Major Mallarkey - N Twiston-Davies - T Scudamore
39 Soll - J Hughes - M Grant
40 Viking Blond - N Twiston-Davies - A Wedge

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