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Nina gets chance to become Grand National's first lady

By Martin Kelly

Nina Carberry will have another opportunity at becoming the first woman to ride the winner of the Grand National after being booked by Mouse Morris for First Lieutenant.

Winner of the Grade One Betfred Bowl at Aintree in 2013, the 10-year-old has not quite been the force of old of late but was second to Boston Bob in the Punchestown Gold Cup last season and Carberry is an intriguing booking.

Morris was left needing a jockey for the £1million Aintree showpiece on Saturday week with Bryan Cooper suspended.

"He's got as good a chance as any," said Morris. "I was fourth in it one year (with Lastofthebrownies in 1989) and he'd have a better chance than that one.

"He's got a bit of class but you also need a bit of luck."

Tony McCoy enhanced his 45 per cent strike-rate with fellow Ulsterman Neil Mulholland this season on his final visit to Huntingdon when doing the steering on Southfield Royale in the Shoreclean Ventilation Ductwork Cleaning Novices Hurdle.

The 19-times champion jockey, who will retire later this month, teamed up with the in-form Wiltshire-based handler - originally from Glenavy - to take the two-and-half-mile contest by half a length aboard the 8-13 favourite.

Mulholland said: "AP (McCoy) said it was not ideal making the running. He will go novice chasing next season."

McCoy (40) will be crowned champion jockey for a 20th successive time later this month.

Belfast Telegraph


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