The Grand National – The year of the women?
The biggest horse race of the year is upon us once again. The grand national is set to return this weekend with record number of viewers and racers.
The 4-and-a-half-mile race is already showing changes from last year with two more female jockeys’ racing. Rachael Blackmore is set to ride Valseur Lido in Saturday’s race, being the second women confirmed in the race.
Lizzie Kelly, is the other female racer to be in the Grand National, she will ride Tea for Two the first time in her career at the festival. No woman has ever won the national, but there is hope through Katie Walsh claiming a third-place finish in 2012 riding Seabass. Although there have been no female winners in the big race, there have been a couple of female winners at Cheltenham last month. Bryony Frost made history as she made herself the first female jockey to ride a top-level grade one Cheltenham winner. She is responsible for “one of the most significant wins in the festivals history.”
Lizzie Kelly, who races on Saturday, also secured a win during Cheltenham riding Siruh du Lah in one of the most exciting races of the festival.
She rides an outside favourite as a 40/1 horse, Tea for Two, this however has not ruled her out and she still thinks she stands a good chance. She said:
“He went over the Grand National-style fences well at David Pipe’s yard when we went there, so he knows what he is doing. In terms of jumping the fences, I think he will be fine as he is a good jumper.”
Is this year, a year for the female jockey?