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Sunday, 09 December, 2018

Girl power! The day Katie and Sandra landed a memorable Irish Grand National

David Jennings relives the 2015 race when two women hogged the headlines

Sandra Hughes returns with Thunder And Roses and Katie Walsh following their victory in the 2015 Irish Grand National
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Reliving some of the great Irish Grand National stories in the build-up to Monday's big race . . . 

It was all about the ladies on Easter Monday in 2015 as Sandra Hughes and Katie Walsh teamed up to land Ireland's richest jumps race with Thunder And Roses. 

The previous November, Hughes lost her legendary father Dessie following a brave battle with cancer and she did him proud by having the 20-1 outsider in peak condition for one of the toughest tests of a chaser. 

"If Dad was here now he'd give me a wink and say 'well done'," said Hughes after the four-and-a-quarter-length success over Rule The World, who went on to win the Grand National at Aintree the following season.

"It's a fairytale. It's unbelievable. I knew when the ground was like this that he would have a super chance and Katie was brilliant on him. He stays all day, he got into a rhythm and just kept going. The whole way around I was really happy to be honest."

Watch: Thunder And Roses win the 2015 Irish Grand National

Walsh became only the third female jockey in history to celebrate success in the famous race, 31 years on from Ann Ferris's win on Bentom Boy and four years after her sister-in-law Nina Carberry guided Organisedconfusion to Grand National glory. 

"This is absolutely class. I've had some fantastic days, but this is an Irish National. It's great for women in racing," beamed Walsh afterwards. 

Irish Grand National card, form and betting

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This is absolutely class. I've had some fantastic days but this is an Irish National. It's great for women in racing
E.W. Terms
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