Trainer Mouse Morris has voiced confidence that First Lieutenant will give Nina Carberry a “great ride” in the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.
The partnership’s potential was highlighted when Carberry’s sister-in-law Katie Walsh won the Irish Grand National on Monday aboard the Sandra Hughes-trained Thunder And Roses, with Morris’s Rule The World and Band Of Blood second and fourth in the same Gigginstown House Stud silks carried by First Lieutenant.
The 10-year-old has found life tough in top-level conditions chases this season, but Morris is hopeful his dual Grade One winner is primed to bounce back on Merseyside, saying: “The horse couldn’t be better, we just want a bit of luck now.
“We can take a lot of positives out of Monday, even if it was a bit frustrating. Everything we’ve run of late has run well, so fingers crossed.
“Nina has been and popped the horse over some Aintree fences and they seemed to get on fine. She’s a brilliant jockey for Aintree. Hopefully, he’ll give her a great ride”
Walsh, third in the Grand National on Seabass in 2012, is without a ride this year, but has been linked with the David Pipe-trained novice Broadway Buffalo, who needs several rivals to be taken out of the race at tomorrow’s final declaration to secure a run.
Hughes, who has the Midlands National runner-up Raz De Maree just above Broadway Buffalo on the waiting list, has looked elsewhere despite Walsh’s success on Thunder And Roses. “I’m just hoping we get in at the moment,” Hughes said. “If he does run I’ve provisionally booked Johnny Burke to ride him.”
Nevertheless, the retiring champion Tony McCoy, who will partner the likely favourite Shutthefrontdoor, thinks it need not be long before a woman rides the winner.
“There are more female jockeys competing, the likes of Nina Carberry, Katie Walsh and Lucy Alexander,” he said. “It’s only a matter of time before a woman wins the Grand National. There’s no reason they can’t win if they get on the right horse.”Reuse content