Nina eyeing Aintree history aboard Organisedconfusion
The inimitable Nina Carberry, who on Saturday will be joined by her friend and sister-in-law Katie Walsh in the quest to become the first female jockey to win an Aintree Grand National, was in cautiously optimistic form ahead of the big event yesterday.
Following Ruby Walsh's decision last weekend to commit to Willie Mullins' On His Own in the Liverpool extravaganza, Katie was immediately confirmed for the mount on their father Ted's prolific Seabass. A 20/1 shot to emulate Papillon's moment of glory for Ted and Ruby in 2000, the keen-running Seabass will be a first National ride for Katie.
Carberry, on the other hand, already boasts an enviable National record, having completed the course on each of the three occasions that she has taken part. Seventh on Character Building two years ago, her mount on Saturday is Organisedconfusion, the horse she so coolly steered to a thrilling Irish Grand National triumph for her uncle Arthur Moore in 2011.
"He'll have a chance," Carberry mused of the seven-year-old's Aintree prospects.
"If you're not in, you can't win, and hopefully he takes to the jumps. He jumps well at home and he has jumped over a few of those (Aintree style) fences, but you just don't know until you line up with the others. It's who takes to it the best, and you need luck on your side as well. Hopefully he'll be there at the end and he'll be good enough."
Organisedconfusion trades a few points longer than Seabass at 25/1, while William Hill offer 100/1 about Walsh and Carberry creating a sensational bit of history by filling the first two places in either order.
The ground at Aintree was yesterday reported to be drying out ahead of today's curtain-raising card, with the official going now good to soft, soft in places on the National course, while the Mildmay course is good to soft.
Mick Kinane, who retired from race-riding after his annus mirabilis on Sea The Stars in 2009, is a 7/4 favourite to steal the headlines at one of jump racing's premier venues in the Legends' Charity Race on Saturday. Kinane's booking on American Trilogy at Aintree means that he will form a rare alliance with Paul Nicholls.
"I'm looking forward to riding at Aintree for a first time, as long as they don't put a fence in front of me," the distinguished Flat rider quipped.
Meanwhile, Born To Sea, a three parts brother to Sea The Stars, was cut to 8/1 from 10/1 by Paddy Power for the 2,000 Guineas yesterday after John Oxx confirmed that the Invincible Spirit colt would head straight to Newmarket.
Having ruled a lame Akeed Mofeed out of the May 5 Group One in recent days, punters may recall how Oxx scratched the equally well-fancied Arazan in similar circumstances ahead of the 2009 Classic, only for Sea The Stars to step up to the plate in such stunning fashion.