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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 April, 2005, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
Bookies fear Ford success pay-out
By Sophie Brown
BBC Sport at Aintree

Bookies are bracing themselves for a big pay-out should Carrie Ford make history and become the first female jockey to win the Grand National.

Carrie Ford on board Forest Gunner
Ford is aiming to make history on Forest Gunner

Ford's mount Forest Gunner is expected to be heavily backed on Saturday as the once-a-year punters flock to their local betting shops.

"She is the phenomenon this year and will cost bookies well over 100m if she wins," said William Hill spokesman David Hood.

"Never have the housewives and working mothers of the UK latched on to a jockey like they have with Carrie."

And never ones to miss a trick, bookmakers are already opening up markets for what the future could hold should Ford clinch an historic win.

"This is a film waiting to happen," said Hood.

"The Grand National has already inspired two big movies in National Velvet and Champions, and should Carrie win, it will be Oscar time."

Should Ford win and Hollywood come calling, you can get a very skinny 5-1 on Tom Hanks taking a role in the film, with 10-1 that Kirsten Dunst - who can ride horses - taking the heroine's role.

More realistic than Ford winning an Oscar is her getting well among the front-runners for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award - she can currently be backed at about 14-1.

If, on the other hand, your views on women jockeys are more in line with Ginger McCain's, Paddy Power are offering 25-1 that Ford and Forest Gunner will part company at the first fence in the National.

BBC Sport's Grand National coverage

Aintree's National weighting game
10 Feb 05 |  Horse Racing
Punters eye right royal result
04 Apr 05 |  Fun and Games
Ford and Forest Gunner chasing first
21 Feb 05 |  Horse Racing

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