McCain: 'Women can't win National'

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The Independent Online

Ginger McCain, that great master of liberal thinking, yesterday ruled out a strong potential rival to his Grand National favourite and last year's winner, Amberleigh House. Forest Gunner, according to Ginger, cannot win the Aintree race next month as he will be ridden by "a broodmare", Carrie Ford, the wife of the 11-year-old's trainer, Richard.

Ginger McCain, that great master of liberal thinking, yesterday ruled out a strong potential rival to his Grand National favourite and last year's winner, Amberleigh House. Forest Gunner, according to Ginger, cannot win the Aintree race next month as he will be ridden by "a broodmare", Carrie Ford, the wife of the 11-year-old's trainer, Richard.

"Horses do not win Grand Nationals ridden by women, that's a fact," Ginger, the mastermind behind Red Rum's hat-trick in the 1970s, said. "Carrie is a grand lass, but she is a 'broodmare' now and having kids does not get you fit to ride Grand Nationals. Good to luck to her, and they have a very good horse, there's no question of that, but to go four-and-a-half miles around Aintree you have to be a top-class professional."

Carrie, 33, won the Fox Hunters' Chase over the National fences on Forest Gunner last year - just 10 weeks after giving birth to daughter Hannah. Rosemary Henderson was the last woman to ride in the National when she finished fifth on 100-1 outsider Fiddlers Pike in 1994.

Forest Gunner is a 16-1 chance for Aintree. Mrs Ford said later: "Anything is possible - I just hope Ginger is wrong. I appreciate it's never been done, but in life, anything is possible. The only thing certain in life is death."

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