Ladies’ Day is usually an event accompanied by high heels, hats and fancy frocks, however yesterday it was replaced by masked caution as the Covid-19 restrictions continued at the famous Merseyside racecourse. Instead, in 2021 there remains a possibility that today might turn out to be the real Ladies’ Day with three female jockeys in with a chance of winning the Grand National itself. Women have come close, Katie Walsh finishing third in 2012 aboard Seabass and Bryony Frost coming in fifth in 2018 aboard Milansbar. Nevertheless the likelihood of getting a female winner of the famous steeplechase seems greater this time around.
Frost has another shot at success while Tabitha Worsley reckons that her chances of finishing first past the post are greater than most bookies believe. The biggest chance perhaps lies with Rachael Blackmore who has a genuine chance of adding the Grand National to her lengthy list of remarkable successes this season. Indeed Blackmore became the first female rider to win Champion Jockey at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival last month and her ride, Minella Times, is rated as third-favourite in this afternoon’s Grand National with many firms.
The hype surrounding the Tipperary girl is one of the reasons behind the enthusiasm of punters and certainly part of the reason why she is hitting the high notes is that she is being given some quality horses to accompany, purely because she is known to be a winner.
It is a very similar story for Bryony Frost who has been given Yala Enki for the Grand National, champion trainer Paul Nicholls trusting her to partner Frodon at Kempton in the King George VI on Boxing Day. She returned the faith Nicholls placed in her by becoming the first ever female rider to win that race.
Tabitha Worsley is on board Sub Lieutenant – trained by her mum Georgie Howell – and she too will be aiming for success this afternoon. Indeed it would be just like the Grand National to deliver a female winner which few saw coming. The 100/1 that was until recently on offer for Sub Lieutenant has been halved to a general 50/1 although to be fair this would be even lower were the runner trained by a more fashionable handler.
Will history be made this afternoon? We wouldn’t be surprised. It is the Grand National after all!