Steeplechase: Tony McCoy claims another big win at Aintree


LIVERPOOL, England (AP) - Tony McCoy warmed up for his final Grand National Steeplechase by cruising to a 26-length win in Friday's featured race at the Aintree Festival.

McCoy showed he is in prime form ahead of his last appearance in the National by riding Don Cossack to a dominant victory in the Melling Chase.

The 19-time champion jockey was also a comfortable winner in the signature race on Thursday - the Aintree Hurdle - aboard Jezki.

McCoy, Britain's most successful jumps jockey, is retiring after the current jumps season, which finishes on April 25. He has suggested he will quit immediately if he wins Saturday's Grand National on pre-race favorite Shutthefrontdoor.

"Sometimes I feel sad about it," McCoy said. "There's days when I wish it wasn't coming to an end, but the reality of it is it is coming to an end. I know deep down it's the right thing."

Don Cossack, the 3-1 joint favorite in the Melling Chase, dominated a strong field thanks to an impressive display of jumping in the Grade 1 race over 2 miles, four furlongs.

By the time he had soared over the final fence, fellow join favorite Champagne Fever had fallen away and Sire de Grugy - who won the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham last year - was out of the race after a tumble.

"Fair play to the horse - I got a great spin off him," McCoy said. "It was very enjoyable."

"I'm just trying to keep things as normal as possible and do my job," McCoy said ahead of the Grand National. "I can leave the worrying until after I walk out of here on Saturday night."