Sisters-in-law go head-to-head in National

Laura Butler

IRELAND'S top jockey sisters-in-law are saddling up to go head-to-head this weekend - in one of the biggest events in the racing calendar.

Two of the country's best-known female sporting stars, Nina Carberry and Katie Walsh, are preparing to compete against one another in the Aintree Grand National for the first time.

The two pals stood side by side at the altar two months ago, when Katie was one of 27-year-old Nina's bridesmaids at her wedding to big brother Ted Walsh Jr.

Now the families will see the women battle it out on the racecourse on Saturday and both sporting stars are hoping for a win.

This is Katie's (27) debut outing at the Aintree Grand National and she touched down in the UK last night with her father Ted and his self-trained horse Seabass.

Newlywed Nina is set to ride Organisedconfusion, the horse she took to victory in the Irish Grand National last year.

She walked down the aisle in February at a glamorous ceremony in her native County Meath.


Katie acted as one of five bridesmaids dressed in blue for the occasion and said she'd love to follow in her new sister's footsteps on the course.

Nina's brother Paul (38) is also set to participate in the iconic four miles and four furlongs race, while Katie's older sibling Ruby (32) will round out the family affair in taking part in the 40-horse extravaganza.

Ted Walsh Snr insisted what happens on the track stays on the track between the family members and added that there's a good chance the girls could be in the final shake-up at the finish line.

"It doesn't make a difference if it's your sister, your brother, your brother-in-law, they all want to win."

Paddy Power bookmakers have placed Katie with the upper hand, with odds of 14/1, while the odds on Nina are 20/1.

Meanwhile, Nina and husband Ted, who were back to work within days of their wedding, have put their honeymoon on hold until the season is over.