Flurry of support for Nina's shot at history
One story may have dominated the build-up to this year's Grand National as Tony McCoy draws closer to retirement, but there is another result that would rival victory for the perennial champion.
McCoy said earlier this week that it would only be a matter of time before a female jockey won the race and Nina Carberry (30) will be the only woman in action this time around, when she is legged up on First Lieutenant, which has come in for a flood of support.
Having been a 25/1 chance seven days ago, the horse is now as low as 16/1.
Just 15 women have taken part in the National, with Charlotte Brew the first in 1977 aboard her own horse Barony Fort, which eventually refused at the fourth-last.
Five years later, the first to complete was Geraldine Rees and Cheers, and for two decades the participants were largely little-known amateurs riding outsiders.
Carrie Ford was the first serious contender when Forest Gunner took fifth in 2005, with the 33-year-old mother only having given birth a few weeks before.
Carberry took over on Forest Gunner a year later, and she and sister-in-law Katie Walsh have taken the reputation of lady riders to new heights.
She has an Irish National on her CV and enjoyed the perfect dry-run over the famous green fences on Thursday as On The Fringe effortlessly claimed a rare Cheltenham-Aintree Foxhunter double. (© Daily Telegraph, London)