McCoy has Grand National back up if Synchronised misses out
Synchronised has not been officially removed from the Grand National field at present, but Tony McCoy has already made a contingency plan to ride Sunnyhillboy at Aintree should the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner miss out.
Not since Golden Miller in 1934 has a horse completed the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National double in the same year and Synchronised is one of a rare few to even attempt this feat since.
However, as he is a horse that tends to benefit from a reasonable break between his races to recuperate, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that he will line up at Aintree less than a month after his Cheltenham success.
To some this may lessen the chances of McCoy winning the Grand National for the second time in three years, but he has an able deputy if Synchronised is scratched from the field.
Sunnyhillboy is 20/1 in the current Grand National odds, but could even go off favourite by race day if connections decide to confirm him for Aintree.
So far, talk about his plans for the remainder of the season has been slim, but trainer Jonjo O’Neill and McCoy will be keen to attempt to repeat the victory of Don’t Push It in 2010.
Sunnyhillboy will be more than an able deputy for Synchronised, particularly off the light weight he was handed of 10st5lb for Aintree.
This is currently too low to secure his spot in the final 40, but there is a strong possibility that enough horses from higher up the weights will be pulled out ahead of race day.
Sunnyhillboy has improved with every race of late and was doing all of his best work late on when finishing third in the Irish Grand National last year over a slightly lesser distance.
Meanwhile, like Synchronised, Sunnyhillboy was a winner at the Cheltenham Festival when claiming victory in the Kim Muir Chase.