Katie Walsh: I feel so lucky to have witnessed history at Aintree
The Betway ambassador reflects on a weekend to remember, having stated last week it was only a matter of time until a female won the Grand National.
From the get-go, as soon as the tapes went up, my eyes were drawn to Any Second Now.
He popped the first and we were away. He seemed to enjoy the place and took to the National fences, which is always a big unknown.
He made a slight mistake at the 10th but was nimble on his feet and kept going. Then, at the 12th, he was very badly hampered by the faller and was stopped dead in his tracks.
He was shuffled towards the back of the pack and I thought that was it – the game was up.
From then on, my eyes turned to Minella Times and Rachael Blackmore.
They had a lovely passage the whole way and he jumped efficiently all the way around.
About five from home, I started to think that Any Second Now could have a bit of a squeak to finish in the placings.
He was moving up through the pack and, while it was going to be a very tough task to win from there, the possibility – which had seemed to have been lost earlier in the race – was there.
As they reached the elbow, a Henry De Bromhead 1-2 looked nailed on as Minella Times and Balko Des Flos had gone clear, but Rachael knew where she was going to finish on Minella Times, and it wasn’t second!
As she crossed the line in front, you could feel the genuine excitement that history had just been made. I was ever so lucky to be there to witness it all happen.
She is quite simply a fantastic rider and, yet again, she delivered on the big stage.
I said in my recent Betway video that it was a case of when and not if a female rider would win the Grand National.
It was only a matter of time, and that time was Saturday 10 April, 2021.
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