The Grand National is a notoriously difficult race to win. More so if you are female. Be it a jockey, a trainer or a mare running in the race, the statistics are not great. But can that all change on Saturday, April 6th at 5.15pm?
No female jockey has ever won the Grand National. In fact, no woman was actually allowed to ride in the race until 1977. Katie Walsh came closest in 2012 on Seabass when she finished in third spot. Last year Bryony Frost came close with a fifth-place finish on Milansbar.
2019 Female Jockeys
For the 2019 Grand National, the burden of being the first female jockey to win will fall on the shoulders of just two women. Lizzie Kelly will be on board the 40/1 shot Tea For Two. Rachael Blackmore will be on 66/1 outsider Valseur Lido for trainer Henry De Bromhead.
Lizzie Kelly is the daughter of Jane Williams, who also trains Tea For Two. Kelly became the first woman to win a Grade One race in Britain, in 2015 when guiding Tea For Two home in the Kauto Star Novices Chase. She also won the Betway Bowl at Aintree, on the same horse, in 2017.
Fresh off the back of her Cheltenham Festival win on Siruh Du Lac, the conditional jockey is in great form. She has an incredibly successful partnership with Tea For Two and the duo could be a formidable force to be reckoned with on Saturday.
Rachael Blackmore is one of the best Irish jockeys around. She sits in the second spot in the Irish Jump Jockeys Championship, just behind Paul Townend.
She scored two winners in the Cheltenham Festival last month. Her first festival win was on A Plus Tard in the Novice’s Handicap Chase. On the final day of the same Festival, Rachael gained her first Grade 1 success when Minella Indo landed the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.
She also holds the record for the most booked rides at the Festival for a female jockey on 17 for the 2019 Festival.
2019 Grand National Mares
This year’s race is very short on mare entries. Initially, there were four – Shattered Love, Ms Parfois, Magic Of Light and Baie Des Iles. Gordon Elliott ruled out Shattered Love, Ms Parfois was ruled out due to injury and Baie Des Iles didn’t make the cut.
That leaves Magic Of Light as the only mare in the 2019 Grand National. Trained by Jessica Harrington, this is her first Grand National entry. With nine wins or places from 14 chase starts, this is a runner that has plenty of potential.
According to her trainer, Magic Of Light is in great form. Odds on the mare were around 50/1 for the Grand National but they have now moved massively and she can be backed at a whopping 125/1 with Paddy Power.
2019 Grand National Female Trainers
This year sees five female trainers chase the 2019 Grand National crown.
Jane Williams trains Tea For Two. Having always been an integral part of the racing set-up with her partner Nick, Williams decided to go it alone as a trainer just last year. She also owns Tea For Two.
Jessica Harrington trains Magic Of Light. Also making her Grand National debut as a trainer, Jessica Harrington is one the biggest names in racing. Among her winning credits are the Irish Grand National, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the RSA Chase, the Champion Chase and the Arkle.
Lucinda Russell trains One For Arthur. No stranger to the winner’s enclosure at the Grand National, Russell won the race in 2017 with One For Arthur. Injury ruled him out last year but now he is back with connections hoping a good run will see him victorious once again.
Sue Smith trains Vintage Clouds. Another Grand National winning trainer, Sue Smith trained the 66/1 winner, Auroras Encore, in 2013. Back this year with another lively contender, Vintage Clouds, can she make history and win the race again?
Rebecca Curtis trains Joe Farrell. Curtis came closest to the coveted Grand National win in 2013 when Tea For Three made it home in third place. This year Joe Farrell looks in great shape and he just squeaked in at the final declaration stage to take up spot no. 40.