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Here come the girls… Female jockeys lead the way in Grand National 2018

Wednesday 11th April 2018
Katie Walsh on Baie Des Iles
Katie Walsh on Baie Des Iles

So far 2018 has been a pretty good year for the revival of girl power.

February marked 100 years of women's right to vote – which got a nod on Celebrity Big Brother – then the Spice Girls reformed, and now it looks like history could be made in this year’s Grand National with the first female winner.

For only the second time in the race's history, three runners in Saturday's annual horse racing event will be ridden by women – and the bookies expect all of them to attract plenty of public backing this weekend.

Katie Walsh (see video below) is heavily backed to become the first female winner of the Aintree race, which takes place on Saturday, on Baie Des Iles.

But what makes this partnership even more special is that Baie Des Iles is a grey mare (making her easy to spot) – which has never won a Grand National race.

Only four times in the history of the Grand National has a grey horse won – by male horses – the most recent being Neptune Collonges. Before then it was The Lamb, which won two races in 1968 and 1971, and the first was Nicolaus Silver in 1961.

Walsh, 33, finished third with Seabass in 2012 – the highest ranking for a woman in the competition – and this year is teaming up with husband Ross O'Sullivan, who has trained the seven-year-old mare.So much excitement surrounds the female duo ahead of Saturday’s race that the bookies have slashed the odds from 33/1 to 20/1.

Coral's David Stevens said: ”Katie Walsh knows what it's like to be on board a well-fancied Grand National runner, having ridden Seabass when that one was sent off favourite in consecutive years, and plenty of punters believe she can go two places better than her third place finish in 2012, with Baie Des Iles already backed down from 66-1 to 20-1.”

Grand National – female horse winner odds

Baie Des Iles 20/1 20/1 20/1 20/1
Bonny Kate 66/1 66/1 66/1 66/1
Each Way Terms 6
1/5
5
1/4
5
1/4
6
1/5

Grand National – female horse winner odds

BEST ODDS
FREE BET ODDS
20/1
20/1
20/1
20/1
FREE BET ODDS
66/1
66/1
66/1
66/1
Odds correct as of 11th Apr, 13:20 . Odds are subject to change.

Elsewhere in the running Bryony Frost, who has already enjoyed great success this season, rides 33/1 shot Milansbar, and Rachael Blackmore will be on board 40/1 chance Alpha Des Obeaux.

Stevens continued: "She's joined in this year's National by Bryony Frost, already a winner at the top level this season, and Rachael Blackmore, with both jockeys on live outsiders. Ladies' Day at Aintree usually takes place on Friday, but it could come a day later this year, and a first ever win in the world’s most famous race for a female jockey would cost the bookies millions.”

Grand National – grey horse winner odds

Baie Des Iles 33/1 33/1 33/1 28/1
Vintage Clouds 33/1 40/1 40/1 33/1

Grand National – grey horse winner odds

BEST ODDS
FREE BET ODDS
33/1
33/1
33/1
28/1
FREE BET ODDS
40/1
40/1
33/1
33/1
Odds correct as of 11th Apr, 14:11 . Odds are subject to change.

Grand National day is the biggest betting day of the year, with more than £100 million bet on the race across the UK, and double that wagered across the sporting weekend.

Odds correct at time of writing and may differ between bookmakers.

Grand National – female jockey to ride the winner odds

Female Jockey To Ride The Winner 10/1

Grand National – female jockey to ride the winner odds

BEST ODDS
1. Female Jockey To Ride The Winner
10/1
FREE BET ODDS
Odds correct as of 11th Apr, 13:20 . Odds are subject to change.
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