Grand National Preview: Girls Out In Force To Make Grand National History

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Milansbar and Bryony Frost – 40-1 Betfair Sportsbook
Baie Des Iles and Katy Walsh – 40-1 Ladbrokes and William Hill
Alpha Des Obeaux and Rachael Blackmore – 50-1 William Hill and Boylesports

Charlotte Brew became the first female to ride in the Grand National when partnering Barony Fort in 1977. The pair managed to make it to the fourth-last fence before parting company but the die was cast and since then many of the fairer sex have attempted to claim the first victory for a woman in the world’s most famous steeplechase.

Seabass and Katy Walsh came closest when finding only Neptune Collonges and Sunnyhillboy standing in their way in 2012 and it can only be a matter of time before history is made and there would be no more popular candidate than one of the great success stories of the season in Bryony Frost and her mount Milansbar from the small stable of Neil King.

The daughter of 1989 Grand National-winning jockey Jimmy who partnered Little Polvier to victory for trainer Toby Balding has proved a breath of fresh air to the sport, mainly thanks to her association with the novice ‘ winning-machine ‘ that is Black Corton. Already successful aboard her mount Milansbar in the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick, the pair are likely to be popular with once-a-year punters and not so with bookmakers who could face huge liabilities if they pass the post in front.

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Katy Walsh has been booked by trainer Ross O’Sullivan to ride Baie Des Iles and with no seven-year-old having won the race since Bogskar in 1940 the grey mare faces an almost impossible task despite having plenty of experience over the bigger obstacles. Sixth in the 2016 Irish Grand National and fifth behind Native River in last seasons Welsh version the daughter of Barastraight could easily finish the race without troubling the leaders.

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Last season’s Irish champion conditional, Rachael Blackmore, has been booked to ride the Mouse Morris inmate Alpha Des Obeaux for owner Gigginstown House Stud. The 28-year-old will be riding over the big fences for the first time but is not fazed by the prospect, saying: “ hopefully we can do our talking on the track next week.” Take Betfair free bets!

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