The most famous horse race in the world? It has to be the Grand National at Aintree, Liverpool. It's the destination for man, woman and horse. Leading up to the main event, it's time for all those divas and fashionistas to get their best clobber on for this fabulous Friday 7th April. Why? Well, it's Grand National Ladies' Day – Get Top Odds Online Now. What better combination for a perfect Grand National festival. A three-day spectacular:
- Grand Opening Day 6th April
- Ladies' Day 7th April
- Grand National Day 8th April
The Grand National celebrates the bravest horses and jockeys run over a distance of 4 miles 514y, 30 fences, over two laps of a daunting course. Who will win this year?
This housewife's favourite is a chance for all to place their bet in shorts and t-shirt or Sunday best. For those who love a bit of style:
It's like Coco Chanel Meets Red Rum
In the days of old, horse racing was very much a man's domain: owner, trainer, jockey. Thankfully, those days have long gone and women have written an impressive chapter in the story which makes this noble race.
Could a female jockey win the Grand National?
Let's take a look at this famous steeplechase from a women's perspective.
One of the first noted ladies to have an influence on the Grand National was Lady Margaret Nelson who owned Ally Slopper, 1915, who proved victorious.
But here's an interesting question. When did the first female jockey take part?
In 1977 Charlotte Brew rode a horse called Barony Fort a 200-1 shot who ran well until refusing at the 26th fence.
Brew's courage and attitude to testing outdated thinking heralded a wave of women who wanted to show the men a thing or two. Boy, they have done just that.
Over 20 women have now ridden in the Grand National. Readers may remember Geraldine Rees being the first to complete the course in 1982.
If I asked you to name one woman who wasn't interested in second best it was?
A popular, dynamic, determined and outstanding horse trainer who won the Grand National in 1983. Corbiere was a noble challenge, ridden by Ben de Haan in the ownership of Bryan Burrough. Pitman did the double in 1995, winning with Royal Athlete at odds of 40-1.
Venetia Williams-trained one of the biggest price winners in 2009, Mon Mome 100-1. One of five horses to win at those odds since its inauguration in 1839 when a horse named Lottery started this long and lasting story.
Here is a list of the woman jockeys who have taken part in the Grand National:
- 1977, 1983 – Charlotte Brew
- 1979, 1980 – Jenny Hembrow
- 1981 – Lind Sheedy
- 1982, 1983 – Geraldine Rees
- 1983 – Joy Carrier
- 1984 – Valerie Alder
- 1987 – Jacqui Oliver
- 1988 – Gee Armytage
- 1988 – Venetia Williams
- 1988 – Penny Finch-Heyes
- 1989 – Tarnya Davis
- 1994 – Rosemary Henderson
- 2005 – Carrie Ford
- 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 – Nina Carberry
- 2012, 2014, 2016 – Katie Walsh
In 2012, Katie Walsh rode the joint favourite, Seabass, who finished third place, the best performance achieved by a female jockey.
This year, Katie Walsh is booked to ride Wonderful Charm trained by Paul Nicholls. This nine-year-old gelding is priced 40-1.
Good luck to all.