Racing News, 8 April 2015

Grand National News: Sam Winner Out, Can a Woman Win?

The Grand National draws ever closer and you can check out our race information or read on for the latest news ahead of the nation’s biggest race which takes place this Saturday, 11th April, at Aintree.

Sam Winner to Miss the National

Sam Winner has been ruled out of the 2015 Grand National and will instead race at Ayr in the Scottish National a week later. It’s not 100% clear why trainer Paul Nicholls has made the decision, although it is assumed that after Sam Winner pulled up at Cheltenham in the Gold Cup Nicholls is keen to give him longer to recover and a less severe test on his return.

Katie Walsh Lands Irish National

Katie Walsh became just the third female jockey ever to win the Irish Grand National Chase when she was triumphant at Fairyhouse on the novice Thunder And Roses. Walsh, sister of the legendary Ruby and daughter of trainer Ted was understandably delighted to win but her chances of making it a double by following it up with success at Aintree look slim to say the least.

Her probable mount, Broadway Buffalo, seems unlikely to make the cut and so she looks almost certain not to be riding in the National on Saturday. She finished third on Seabass in 2012, the highest finish by a female jockey at the Grand National, but for this year at least there seems little hope of anyone bettering that. Nina Carberry will give it her all on First Lieutenant but we won’t be betting on the 33/1 shot as the long wait for a woman to land the biggest race on the planet goes on.

Grand National News Round Up

There isn’t a great deal to say about the National other than that mentioned above so let’s have a quick recap of the latest odds. Shutthefrontdoor remains the favourite, though AP McCoy’s mount has drifted somewhat and is now priced at 15/2 from 7s, whilst Rocky Creek is next at 10/1, with Balthazar King not far behind at 11s. The Druids Nephew is the only other National horse priced at less than 20/1 but that should change once the field is finalised, with 65 runners currently remaining.

A win for Shutthefrontdoor would be a major disaster for the bookies, with a raft of money expected for the favourite, not least because of the romantic hope that McCoy can bow out of horse racing with a second National win.