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Grand National and Gold Cup glory, beating cancer and surviving lockdown - the amazing story of Jenny Pitman

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Jenny Pitman trained horses to win the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Julian Herbert/ALLSPORT

Jenny Pitman trained horses to win the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Julian Herbert/ALLSPORT

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Jenny Pitman trained horses to win the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Julian Herbert/ALLSPORT

AFTER eventually agreeing a suitable time to call and knowing that my number was incoming, Jenny Pitman answers the phone with "Hello, Psychiatric Care Unit, can I help you?" to show that she hasn't lost any of her sparkle.

Her rise from humble beginnings in the 1970's to becoming the first woman to scale jump racing's greatest heights – the Aintree Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup – the following decade is an extraordinary tale of a fiery personality who never failed to amaze.

The first lady of jump racing overcame incredible obstacles to become the standard bearer in a profession dominated by her male counterparts but that matters little to the 73-year-old right now as she realises that no barrier is bigger than the one facing the world right now.