As the most famous horse race in the world, the Grand National is always one of the biggest days in the horse racing betting calendar. Yet, since the inaugural race in 1839, just 17 female jockeys have been given the chance to negotiate the iconic Aintree fences.
Among those is Katie Walsh, who was third aboard Seabass in 2012.
“He went there in great form after winning a good 2m race at Naas as his prep run so we were confident that he’d run a big race,” Walsh recalled. I was delighted that Dad [Ted Walsh] and the owners had agreed to let me ride him. It’s always tough and you always need plenty of luck, as you do in most races, but in the Grand National more so than ever.”
“As a rider, you just want to make sure you get over the first flight. After that, your confidence will grow with each flight you take – and ours did. We flew the first and popped the next few and I started to work out the plan in my head,” she added. “As the race unfolded towards the business end, I thought I had a shot, but never felt like I was really going to win. We were beaten fair and square on the day but, look, I was just absolutely delighted to be placed in a Grand National.”
The winner of that race was Neptune Collonges at odds of 33-1 while Sunnyhillboy running second and Seabass, who was the co-favorite at 8-1 third.
Betway ambassador Katie Walsh – who boasts the best finish for a woman in the race – narrates the history of female achievement in the iconic Aintree event.
In this animated video, Betway ambassador Katie Walsh – who boasts the best finish for a female jockey after finishing third on Seabass in 2012 – narrates the history of female achievements in the race, including:
- Charlotte Brew, the first woman to take part in 1977
- Geraldine Rees becoming the first female jockey to finish in 1982
- Rosemary Henderson’s fifth-place finish on Fiddlers Pike in 1994
- Carrie Ford following suit on Forest Gunner in 2005
- Walsh and her sister-in-law Nina Carberry flying the flag between 2006 and 2017
- Her own record-breaking performance on Seabass in 2012
The 2021 Grand National will be held at Aintree on Saturday, April 10. For the latest news and betting odds check out Betway for the latest information on the big race.