how many female jockeys have taken part in the Grand National?

With the jewel in the crown of racing, The Grand National, just around the corner it’s high time we started talking about this prestigious event. There’s much old ground that could be gone over in terms of highlighting the history of the Grand National, but Betway and Katie Walsh have this year taken the angle of reminding us how far female jockeys have come over the years in racing, and the Grand National itself.

Following the well overdue passing of the Sex Discrimination in 1975, Charlotte Brew was the first woman to compete in the event (on 200-1 shot horse Barony Fort). What followed was 16 female jockeys total – and counting – over the following decades with household names like Nina Carberry, Katie Walsh,  and Rachael Blackmore all competing in more recent years. Young girls are now able to dream that one day they may  get to ride the winner of the Grand National and that can only be a good thing. Tune into the 2021 Grand National on Saturday April 10th.

How long did Michael Johnson hold the 400-metre world record?

Michael Johnson was the preeminent figure in athletics in the Nineties and, such was his domination of the 400-metre event, arguably the greatest runner ever to compete at that distance.

In the 400-metre final at the World Athletics Championships at the Estadio Olímpico in Seville, Spain on August 26, 1999, Johnson produced a new world record time of 43.18 seconds.

In so doing, he beat the previous best, 43.29 seconds, set by fellow American Harry Lee Reynolds Jr., popularly known as ‘Butch’ Reynolds, in Zürich, Switzerland on August 17, 1988. Reynolds’ record was a significant improvement on the previous mark, 43.86 seconds, set by compatriot Lee Evans at the Mexico City Olympics on October 18, 1968; Evans’ record was set at an altitude of 7,349 feet and annotated as such in some record books, but nevertheless stood for nearly twenty years.

Achieved at low altitude – Seville is just 23 feet above sea level on average – Johnson’s record did not stand for quite so long, but it was not until August 14, 2016, nearly 17 years later, that is was finally broken. In the 400-metre final at the Rio de Janiero Olympics on August 14, 2016, South African Wayde van Niekerk won the gold medal in a new world record time of 43.03 seconds, 0.15 seconds faster than Johnson. Johnson described the result as ‘a massacre’ and speculated that van Niekerk, aged just 24 at the time, might be able to achieve what he could not by running 400 metres in less than 43 seconds.

Which much see National Hunt Racing Festival Starts Today?

The Cheltenham Festival 2021 of course. Yes, it’s that time of year again. The prestigious Cheltenham Festival is back with us again between 16th – 19th March. It’s both an event that draws in the purists and the casual racing fans alike, both in the UK and around the world. The festival has prize money second only to the Grand National, which in itself tells you all you need to know about its popularity. Throughout this week of top racing action we are treated to unmissable action in the likes of the Champion Chase, Stayers Hurdle and of course the Cheltenham Gold Cup. But don’t just take my word for it, just look how excited some of our top Premier League footballers (Jesse Lingard and co) are about the Cheltenham Festival courtesy of this fun Cheltenham themed Betway quiz they took part in.

How many different clubs did Eric Cantona play for?

Sadly, Eric Cantona will always be best remembered for launching a kung-fu kick at Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons, moments after being sent off at Selhurst Park in January, 1995, which earned him an eight-month ban from the game. Nevertheless, despite a chequered disciplinary record, on and off the field, Cantona was a sublime footballing talent. He retired from professional football, aged just 30, at the end of the 1996/97 season and was voted ‘Player of the Century’ by Manchester United supporters four years later.

Before settling at Old Trafford, where he spent five years, Cantona led an itinerant existence, thanks in no small part to his volatile temperament. He began his professional career with AJ Auxerre, under the legendary Guy Roux, in 1983, before joining his hometown club, Olympique de Marseille, in 1988. However, the following January, Cantona reacted badly to being subsituted during a friendly match against Torpedo Moscow, throwing his shirt at manager Gérard Gili and subsequently absconding without permission. Consequently, he spent three turbulent, but not entirely unsuccessful, loan spells at Bordeaux, Montpellier HSC and Nîmes.

Cantona was persuaded by French national team manager Michel Platini to try English football and, in 1992, after training briefly with Sheffield Wednesday, signed for Leeds United. He won the final First Division title with Leeds and, following his controversial transfer to Manchester United – his seventh club all told, not including Sheffield Wednesday – the following November, helped the Red Devils to win the newly-inaugurated Premier League.

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