It will not be the first time that a woman has ridden in the Grand National. Nor will it be the last time that a man - in this case, Ginger McCain of Red Rum fame - has ridiculed her ambition and delighted in the opportunity to impugn the abilities of the fair sex as a whole. Plus ça change... What will be different tomorrow is that Carrie Ford, this "slip of a girl", has won her spurs over the Aintree fences in the past and will be riding a decent mount. Ellen MacArthur proved that a woman of courage and skill could beat the men at their own game. Let's hope Ms Ford makes this the year of Britain's sporting women.