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Female Grand National winner on the horizon claims Katie Walsh


Female Grand National winner on the horizon claims Katie Walsh


Rachael Blackmore claimed the top-jockey prize at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival in hugely impressive fashion and she will be hoping to continue the momentum in the Grand National on April 10th aboard well-backed Minella Times.

According to the most successful woman jockey, Katie Walsh, it is only a matter of time before the Grand National is won by a female rider. Walsh’s brother Ruby won the Grand National on two occasions – 2000 with Papillon and 2005 with Hedgehunter – and she finished third on Seabass behind winner Neptune Collonges in the 2012 renewal of the famous steeplechase.

The 36-year-old hung up her riding boots in 2018 and she believes it is a case of ‘when’not ‘if’ a female jockey finishes first past the post on the biggest event in UK racing.

Rachael Blackmore was hugely impressive when winning the top jockey award at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, six winners coming her way over the four days of the Prestbury Park meeting – including the Ryanair Chase aboard Allaho and the Champion Hurdle aboard Honeysuckle.


Rachael Blackmore was top jockey at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival


Katie Walsh said: “It has changed quickly.

“Seabass was 2012 and people were a bit like, ‘Can this really happen?’

“Now it looks like it is only a matter of when – because we have the likes of Rachael and Bryony [Frost] and Bridget Andrews being professional.

“Lucy Alexander was champion conditional a couple of years ago – with more of the girls turning professional there is going to be more of a chance of those girls riding in the National.

“The more women that ride in it, the better chance there is of a woman winning it.”

Katie Walsh helps her father Ted in training 2021 hopeful Any Second Now and she admitted that it was unlikely that the Grand National would attract massive numbers of female jockeys among the ranks of professionals, however she confessed that all the girls have the ability to bag a winner in the big race.

She added: “Without doubt, all those girls have the ability to ride the winner.

“Rachael in Cheltenham was remarkable. It was great TV. She was brilliant. Take male, female out of it – she was absolutely super.”