It’s finally here. After two thrilling days of Aintree action, attention has turned to the 2022 Grand National, which gets underway at 5:15pm on Saturday.
Fans will pack the grandstands on Merseyside to see the world’s greatest steeplechase. 40 runners will battle it out, with Snow Leopardess, Any Second Now and Delta Work at the top of the betting.
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Minella Times, with Rachael Blackmore on board, won the Grand National last year for trainer Henry de Bromhead and owner JP McManus.
Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the race but how many female jockeys are riding in the 2022 Grand National?
Blackmore will be the only female jockey in the big race on Saturday.
The 32-year-old, who will me making her third Grand National appearance, will be hoping for another success.
Blackmore rode six winners at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, making her the first female jockey to win the leading Cheltenham jockey award.
She followed that up with three winners at Cheltenham this year, including winning the Gold Cup on A Plus Tard.
Minella Times will be rated 15lbs higher than last year and the nine-year-old hasn’t finished in either start so far this season.
De Bromhead was asked about Minella Times’ chances in the Grand National, with the trainer admitting it’ll be hard to repeat last year’s success.
He said: “Rachael will ride Minella Times and he’s back showing me all the right signs at home. Now, in saying that, I thought I had him back going into the Leopardstown race as well and he disappointed me, but he definitely seems to be back to himself this time.
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“He loved it last year, but he’s obviously gone up a good bit in the ratings so it’s not going to be easy for him.
“I’d love to see him come back to form and run his race. If he ran well and came home in one piece I’d be delighted. Anything else would be a bonus.”
Owner McManus added: “It’s a big ask, 16lb higher this year. He’s probably entitled to it but it’s a big ask. But who knows? You can only win if you’re here.”
WE’VE GOT ALL YOU NEED FOR THE GRAND NATIONAL
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