We are still waiting for the first female jockey to ride the winner of the Grand National at Aintree, however, with so many talented women riders in the sport today, that wait is unlikely to go on much longer.
With this in mind, here is a look at three women who are an excellent bet to partner the winner next month, in the 173rd renewal of the world’s most famous steeplechase.
It has been an excellent season for Rachel Blackmore so far. She was the pick of many punters in the top jockey betting for the Cheltenham Festival in 2020, such was the confidence behind the 30-year-old.
Blackmore justified the support shown in her at Cheltenham when she rode Honeysuckle to victory in the Mares’ Hurdle. She was praised by many pundits in the sport for the tactical decisions she made in that race at the huge meeting in the sport.
The Irish jockey has over 60 winners in the campaign already. She rode a Grade One double at the Dublin Racing Festival back in February, when Honeysuckle and Notebook scored in the Irish Champion Hurdle and Irish Arkle respectively.
Blackmore has an association with Gigginstown House Stud in Ireland, which means she will get the pick of a group of horses in the Grand National. Her most likely ride could be Alpha Des Obeaux who, at 33/1, should be one of your horse racing bets on Grand National races day this year.
This will be Blackmore’s third attempt at the steeplechase on Merseyside. She fell when onboard Alpha Des Obeaux in 2018 while, in 2019, she completed the course with Valseur Lido, finishing 10th of 40 runners.
Given how well she is riding at the moment, it would be no surprise to see Blackmore cap off the season with a victory in the biggest race of them all in National Hunt racing.
Bryony Frost made history at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019 when she became the first female jockey to win a Grade One contest over fences at the meeting. A month later she landed the British Conditional Jockeys Title.
That success onboard Frodon in the 2019 Ryanair Chase ensured that Frost was on the back pages of every newspaper the following day.
The talented female jockey has had just the one ride in the Grand National so far in her career. She came home fifth on 25/1 shot Milansbar in 2018 in what was an impressive debut.
Frost had to sit the race out in 2019 as she was not booked for a ride, however, she will be hoping to make up for that disappointment this season in the race.
The former Champion Conditional Jockey is set to partner Yala Enki at Aintree next month. He is 28/1 in the betting, and is not without a strong chance as he won the 2019 Grand National Trial at Haydock.
Paul Nicholls’ runner was successful at Taunton over 3m5f earlier this season with Frost in the saddle. The reigning Champion Trainer, Nicholls won the Grand National in 2012 with Neptune Collonges and is sure to have Yala Enki in prime condition for the race over the bigger fences in Liverpool.
The Frost family have a strong association with the Grand National, as Bryony’s father, Jimmy Frost, won the race as a jockey in 1989 with Little Polveir.
Lizzie Kelly has been a fantastic example for the female jockeys in the sport over the last couple of years. She has proved what they can achieve with big-race successes in the Ultimate Handicap Chase, and also the Aintree Bowl and Kauto Star Novices’ Chase.
Kelly would probably swap all three of those wins to prevail in the Grand National though, as that is the race all jockeys dream about in their early days of training.
The multiple-Grade One-winning jockey made her debut in the Grand National last April on board Tea For Two. Unfortunately for her, the horse was pulled up in the latter stages of the contest.
If she gets her second chance this year, Kelly may be worth a bet as she now has experience of everything that comes with the big day at Aintree.
Good luck to all the female jockeys taking part in the Grand National on the 4th April. Hopefully one of them can create one of the biggest storylines the race has ever produced.