How many female trainers have won the Grand National?
As far as the Grand National is concerned, it was Jenny Pitman who first broke through the ‘glass ceiling’ when saddling Corbiere, who was still a novice, to victory in 1983. In 1995, ‘Mrs. P.’ won the Grand National again with the 12-year-old Royal Athlete and, in the meantime, has been joined by three more female trainers on the Grand National roll of honour.
In 2009, Mon Mome, trained by Venetia Williams, caused a shock – although, to be fair, there appeared no fluke about his performance – when driven clear by the late Liam Treadwell to beat the 2008 winner Comply Or Die by 12 lengths at odds of 100/1. Four years later, in 2013, Auroras Encore, trained by Sue Smith, belied odds of 66/1 with a comprehensive 9-length win. Four years later still, in 2017, One For Arthur, trained by Lucinda Russell, was sent off at a rather more ‘punter friendly’ starting price of 14/1 and, having travelled and jumped well, stayed on strongly to win by 4½ lengths; in so doing, he not only made Russell the fourth female trainer to win the Grand National, but became the first Scottish-trained winner since Rubstic in 1979.