In Paddy Power’s last marketing promotion prior to Saturday’s historic edition of the Grand National, Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty discussed the significance of the race.
Geraghty, who won the Grand National on Monty’s Pass in 2003, described the Grand National as the race every jockey wants to participate in, let alone win.
The jockey – who holds the record as the second most successful jockey at the Cheltenham Festival – took a humorous view on the idea of being unable to participate in the Grand National as a professional jockey.
“It’d be like being 17, stood outside the nightclub watching all your friends who are 18 going in the door,” he said, greeted with laughs by Walsh and Paddy. “You just want to be involved, and it’s the whole build up, it’s the fanfare.”
Almost foreshadowing Rachael Blackmore’s iconic win on Saturday, Walsh remarked that as a young jockey, it was a rarity for Irish jockeys to win the race.
He said: “Paul (Carberry) had won the Grand National. He was the only person from the time I was born – and Barry (Geraghty) – people with Irish connections, to win the National. It just didn’t happen.”
Walsh’s comments mirror those of fellow Irish jockey and sibling Katie Walsh, although with one difference – Ruby Walsh appeared to focus on his desire from a competitor from his home country of Ireland to win the Grand National.
Meanwhile, Katie Walsh expressed her wish to see a woman win it for the first time in its history, commenting: “One day a woman will cross the line.”
That day, as it turned out, was 10 April 2021, as Rachael Blackmore stormed to victory on Minella Times at odds of 11/1, whilst heavy favourite Cloth Cap – ridden by Tom Scudamore of the famous racing family – didn’t finish the course.
“It doesn’t matter what you are, we’re jockeys, we win races and it’s just a privilege to be here,” the 31-year-old said after the race. “I’m speechless. It’s incredible, I can’t believe we’ve just won the Champion Hurdle.”
Source – Paddy Power YouTube Channel