Booked to ride First Lieutenant for Gigginstown House and trainer Mouse Morris in the Grand National 2015, Nina Carberry, has already bagged herself an all important Aintree Festival win and has boosted her claims to become the first female jockey, in the race’s history, to win the Grand National.
Warming up for the Grand National 2015, which takes place tomorrow at 4.15pm, the Irish rider won the Crabbie’s Fox Hunter’s Chase with On The Fringe, for trainer Enda Bolger, with a superb victory over the big Aintree fences on the opening day of the meeting.
In a race that provided plenty of incident, including last year’s winner, Warne, going out at the first fence and the 2013 winner, Tartan Snow going out at the second,
With 29 runners taking to the Foxhunter fences, Carberry went off as 5/2 favourite and navigated the course perfectly stalking the leaders until two out when she gave On The Fringe the nudge needed to get him into wining his winning gear.
Having already won the Foxhunters at the Cheltenham Festival in March, On The Fringe became the first horse, since Double Silks in 1993, to do the Festival double in the dame year with Nina Carberry on board for both occasions.
Following the win she said: “I was just a passenger, he was loving it.
“It’s a great training performance again to get him back here in the same type of form and he travelled like a dream.
“I had loads of room on the outside because I knew if I could get him round I’d be good enough.”
With only 16 runners completely the 2m 51/2f race, another interesting fact to note is that six female jockeys took part, considerably more than last year when only two rode in the Foxhunters.
The Paul Nicholls trained, Pache Du Polder, had to settle for second place when beaten on the run in with last Time D’Albain finishing in third place for trainer Liam Cusack.
With no booked rides today, Nina Carberry must wait until tomorrow to get back on the course when she mounts First Lieutenant, a general 25/1 chance for the Grand National 2015.
While First Lieutenant has had a number of different jockeys on board, Bryan Cooper has paired with him over the last few run outs as the Gigginstown House stable jockey. However, Cooper picked up two bans at the recent Cheltenham Festival that ruled him out of Aintree so Carberry has been given the green light.
Carberry has completed the course in three of her four previous rides in the National, the best being when seventh on Character Building in 2010.
Can she cap off an incredible week for female jockeys and stand alongside her sister-in-law, Irish Grand National winning jockey Katie Walsh, with her own National win? Only time will tell.
Picture by: Mike Egerton/PA Wire/Press Association Images