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Grand National: Odds slashed on Rachael to be first female winner

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The Irish rider, 31, was the toast of Cheltenham last month as its best rider, with six incredible wins. Tomorrow she rides Minella Times in the world-famous Aintree steeplechase, with her odds already slashed from 25/1 to just 10/1. The best finish from a female jockey in the 172 previous Grand Nationals was Katie Walsh in 2012, when she came third on Seabass. Rachael said: “The Grand National is definitely my first memory of racing.

“There is always a chance because there’s so many variables that can go wrong for people and no matter where you go, trouble will find you.

“You’ve just got to take your chances – the only time you’ve got no chance is when you’re not on something’s back heading to the start.”

David Stevens of bookmaker Coral said: “Rachael and Minella Times have already been heavily backed after Rachel’s Cheltenham heroics.

“Having become the first female to be Cheltenham’s top jockey, we’re certainly taking her chances of being the first woman to win the National seriously.”

Last year, the 173rd Grand National was cancelled because of the pandemic and replaced with an NHS charity virtual race.

Tomorrow’s four-mile, 30-fence Randox Grand National starts at 5.15pm on ITV.

The estimated £250million in bets makes it the world’s biggest horse racing betting day, trouncing the £120million wagered on Australia’s Melbourne Cup.

Normally, just 15 percent of gamblers are women but at Aintree, almost half (48 percent) have a flutter.

Meanwhile, Ladies Day Friday fans are urged to wear their best frocks and celebrate on social media today, with a paddock of prizes on offer.

Race-lovers must upload a selfie to the Aintree Racecourse Ladies Day Facebook event, or on Instagram or Twitter, using hashtag #AGrandDayIn.

A £4,000 donation will also be made to the winner’s chosen charity.

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