Wait Continues For First Female Jockey To Win Grand National
We go into the 2020 Randox Health Grand National still waiting for the first female jockey to ride the winner of the race.
Katie Walsh currently holds the record for the best finish in the steeplechase as she finished third on board Seabass in 2012. The horse went off as the 8/1 joint-favourite – such was the confidence behind the sister of two-time Grand National winner Ruby Walsh.
Here is a look at four jockeys who will be in with a great chance of becoming the historic first female rider to add their name to the honours’ board.
t was a fantastic weekend for Rachel Blackmore at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown as she rode two Grade One winners at the meeting.
Blackmore was on board Notebook who enhanced his reputation over fences ahead of the Arkle. She also partnered Honeysuckle to Irish Champion Hurdle glory later that afternoon.
The chances are Blackmore will be on board one of Gigginstown’s runners in the Grand National field this year. They are likely to make up for a large percentage of the 40-runner field.
In 2019 Blackmore rode Valseur Lido in the 4m2½f contest in her second attempt at the Aintree feature. She will be hoping it is a case of third time lucky in April.
History was made at Cheltenham last March when Bryony Frost became the first female jockey to win a race over obstacles at the Festival on board Frodon in the Ryanair Chase.
A month later, Frost lifted the British Conditional Jockey Title to end what had been a fantastic campaign for her.
Frost made her debut in the Grand National in 2018 where she finished fifth in a fantastic opening appearance on top on Milansbar at odds of 25/1.
Unfortunately for Frost, she did not have a ride in the race in 2019. If she were to score in the Grand National this year, it would be a great story as her father Jimmy was successful as a jockey in 1989 with Little Polveir.
Lizzie Kelly is no stranger to big race victories. Her major wins include the Betway Bowl, Kauto Star Novices’ Chase and Ultima Handicap Chase.
A lot of Kelly’s big success has come on board Tea For Two. She made her first outing in the Grand National on the horse last April where she pulled the horse up before the 29th fence.
The experience of the bigger fences in 2019 will help Kelly in her next bid to win the race. Kelly, who is the stepdaughter of Nick Williams, is not short of confidence in the saddle and is sure to relish another shot at the steeplechase.
With 65 winners in the campaign so far, it has been an excellent season for Page Fuller. That success comes despite the conditional jockey breaking her ankle back in August forcing her to miss a chunk of the year.
Fuller has yet to ride in the Grand National so it would be an incredible debut if she were to be successful at her first attempt.
The two-time lady amateur champion has been booked by a number of trainers this season. This boosts her hopes of a first appearance in the world’s most famous jumps race.
The final jockey bookings for the 2020 National will be confirmed 48 hours before the race so we will know then exactly how many female riders will participate this year.