Women could take Grand National
NINA Carberry and Katie Walsh both hope to become the first woman to win the Grand National when the famous UK race is run at Aintree on Saturday.
The families of the two jockeys have already tasted National fame. Carberry's father Tommy ended Red Rum's hopes of a third successive national when he scored on L'Escargot in 1975.
Walsh's brother Ruby won on Papillon in 2000 and Hedgehunter in 2005.
Carberry rides Organisedconfusion, a 25-1 chance, who is trained by her uncle Arthur Moore. Last year she won the Irish Grand National on this horse.
Walsh rides a 16-1 shot, Seabass, who most pundits think has the better chance of the pair. It is her first National ride as her intended mount last year Our Monty had to be withdrawn due to a leg infection.
Carberry's mother, Pamela, said : "It's an open race, you can't get your hopes up - but you never know. It's great for them to get this far, to get the opportunity."
Walsh's father, Ted, is upbeat that both young women can do well. "Both girls have a racing background, they have been at it all their lives, since a very young age. There is a good chance that a girl could win this year.
"Katie has been going to the National since she was 10 years old - she knows that it is ultimately about being in the right place at the right time - you need a bit of luck at Liverpool."
UK bookmaker William Hill is offering 10-1 about a woman winning Saturday's race. A total of 14 female jockeys have competed since 1977 when the event stopped being all-male. However, only four have completed the four-and-half-mile course. Carberry is one of them, having finished seventh on Character Building last year.
On the local racing front, jockey Gavin Lerena increased his lead in the title race with a four-timer at Turffontein on Tuesday night. He will be looking to boot home more winners at the Vaal today and his best mount could be St John Gray's runner Sea Passage in the fifth race.
The mare easily outpointed her rivals to score by three lengths on her most recent outing, and she can notch her fourth career win by beating Hockus and stablemate Royal Overture.
Although Lerena's mount Vas Vites has an each-way chance in the fourth race, Erico Verdonese's colt may have to play second fiddle to three-year-old McDreamy.
A son of Durban July winner Greys Inn, McDreamy hinted he will not be in the maiden ranks for long when second to World Record at Turffontein in February. That form brings Leon Erasmus's runner King Scott into the reckoning although he was no match for The Club King on his most recent outing.
Anthony Delpech has seven booked rides at the meeting and the pick may be Irish Gift (sixth race) and Skinny Jeans in the final leg of the Pick 6.
While Irish Gift has not been seen out since winning at Turffontein in February, the American-bred gelding could be on the mark if he has progressed in the interim.
Piere Strydom's mount, Umfutho, could have more to offer along with Lerena's mount, War Front, who has only raced three times.
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