Rachael Blackmore has revealed that she is looking forward to teaming up with John Nallen's former point-to-pointer ahead of their bid to make history in Saturday’s Randox Grand National.
Blackmore created history last month by becoming the first female jockey to finish the week as leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival and is fancied by many to go well on the Henry de Bromhead-trained Minella Times, who is a 9/1 chance for the big race.
Minella Times’ price has tumbled in recent weeks due to Blackmore’s success in the saddle and the jockey has revealed that she is hopeful of a good ride on the improving eight-year-old.
She said: “I’m really looking forward to riding him. He’s had two very nice runs in handicaps at home, he seems very well and his jumping technique is good. Look, it’s the Grand National and anything can happen, but I wouldn’t swap him anyway.
“Henry (de Bromhead) put up some Aintree-style fences at home and he seemed to take to them well. His jumping has been good and you’d just be really looking forward to riding something like him.
“He’ll jump and he’ll travel. There’s plenty of unknowns over this distance, but we couldn’t be happier with him and we’re just hoping for a nice run tomorrow. We actually haven’t spoken about tactics yet, but it’s the Grand National and you can’t get too wrapped up in that.
“I got around last year on Valseur Lido and got a kick out of that. He was a fantastic ride and it would be great if we can get a bit closer this year.”
Meanwhile, Blackmore revealed that she had been inundated with support from the public on both sides of the Irish Sea since her success at the Cheltenham Festival and added that she was hopeful of justifying the strong flurry of bets on her mount.
She added: “The postman was busy! I’ve had so many well wishes from people who I’d forgotten I even knew, so it’s been brilliant.
“When I had an interest in racing, you’d try and find something to (resonate with), maybe a local horse or you might know a trainer or a jockey, so I hope if people are backing me I can make sure people don’t go broke!”