Sunday 17 December 2017

Jockey Nina ensures it's a real ladies' day as she wins 'top' title

Emer Lynch, from Batterstown, Co Meath, took best dressed lady title. Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins
Emer Lynch, from Batterstown, Co Meath, took best dressed lady title. Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins
Eileen Sutton and Lisa Kennedy from Ballymadun and St Margarets, Co Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins
Former Taoiseach John Bruton in the crowd yesterday. Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins
JP McManus and Michael O'Leary. Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins

Louise Hogan

There were ladies, ladies everywhere.

Teetering atop four-inch Louboutins, weighed down by feather creations and, most importantly, in the winner's enclosure after the Ladbrokes Irish Grand National yesterday.

In her mud-splattered colours, slender amateur jockey Nina Carberry was barely out of breath as she admitted it was a "dream" to land the big one, with 12-1 shot Organisedconfusion.

In the midst of a colour-strewn Ladies Day at Fairyhouse Racecourse in Co Meath, the 26-year-old admitted it was in her blood, as her father Tommy Carberry and brothers Paul and Philip have all won the 'big one'.

So too had her uncle and Grand National-winning trainer Arthur Moore, whose face crumpled into tears as he spoke of the "special memories" the day evoked.

"I didn't really want to look, I was just concentrating on keeping him going," the second woman ever to win the race said of those hot on her heels.

"It is great to win an Irish National; it is one of the tops for everybody."

Her uncle caused the crowd to erupt as he placed his bowler hat on the head of the horse owned by veterinary surgeon Alan Dunlop and his wife Grace.

Meanwhile, former Miss World Rosanna Davison couldn't quite bring herself to say the aforementioned famous red-soled four-inch Louboutin shoes were truly comfortable for traipsing the turf looking for the best dressed entrants.

"The style was incredible, I didn't expect such a turnout and they all incorporated the colour red," the daughter of singer Chris de Burgh said.

Delighted winner Emer Lynch (26), from Batterstown, Co Meath, whose vintage red dress, purple coat from Ribbon Rouge in Navan, and red belt made for a few euro from curtain material, said she didn't know how she was going to spend the €1,000 cheque from Ladbrokes and the €8,000 package from Carton House.


Jockey Ruby Walsh was back in action yesterday after wife Gillian gave birth to their second girl, Elsa on Sunday night.

He was just pipped at the post in the first race by the possibly expectant mare and 11/8 favourite Voler La Vedette.

Others spotted at the track included presidential-hopeful Mairead McGuinness, while former Taoiseach John Bruton was spotted pow-wowing with Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney who was presenting the Grand National trophy.

Other familiar faces included TD Martin Hayden, television presenter Brendan Courtney, 'Dragons' Den' judge Nora Casey and Brian Purcell from 'The Apprentice'.

Earlier, the punters fared well as a few of the well-fancied favourites delivered, while the betting was spread out in the action-packed Grand National.

"I'm delighted the sun shone and it all worked out," said relieved racecourse manager Peter Roe, after 15,200 people flocked to the track, up 2,000 on last year.

Irish Independent

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