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Tabitha Worsley will be going all-out to become the first female jockey ever to win the Grand National when she joins the line-up on Saturday afternoon.
Worsley generally rides for Sussex-based trainers such as Andy Irvine, Diana Grissell and Nick Gifford and she will be aboard quality chaser Sub Lieutenant in the Randox Grand National at 5:15pm on Saturday afternoon. Formerly trained by Henry de Bromhead, Sub Lieutenant is now under the guidance of Worsley’s mum Georgie Howell, the two of them purchasing the horse for a reported £50,000 later last year. The 12-year-old is a 66/1 shot for Grand National glory and he has shown no shortage of promise on his two starts for his current stable, two fourth-placed finishes taking place at Ascot.
This runner enjoys course form over the Grand National fences having finished second in the 2019 Topham Chase, however as far as Worsley is concerned she will be looking forward to realising her lifelong ambition by riding him in the Grand National on Saturday afternoon.
She said: “It’s so exciting for a little family like us to have a runner in the Grand National and we’re really looking forward to it. Sub Lieutenant is in great form at home. He’s a wild character, but is in great order. He’s just been cantering away this week and been having plenty of time out in the field.
“He has been round the Grand National fences before, finishing second in the Topham Chase at Aintree in 2019 and he has also schooled over Grand National-type fences in Lambourn recently. He jumped really well over those recently and if you could pick a horse to ride in the race given his jumping ability, he could be really high up the list.”
“To ride in the Grand National is a massive dream realised. You talk about the fact that you would love to ride in a Grand National one day, but I never thought when I left school at 18 that I would have a ride in the race. For that dream to become a reality is something very special. Me and mum [Georgie Howell, trainer] bought him for £50,000 last year and we never thought we would be able to afford him.
“A woman will ride a winner of the Grand National that day, it will definitely happen. However, if I cross the line in front, I won’t be thinking that I am the first woman to ride a winner of the Grand National, I’ll just be thinking Jesus Christ I’ve won the National! A woman will win the race, be it this year or in the future, but I don’t think it’s something we all think about. Racing is great in that it offers riders a level playing field between men and women. Whoever wins the Grand National, whether your male or female, it means everything.”