Georgie Howell-trained second lieutenant who is ridden by daughter Tabitha Worsley at Grand National

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Mother and daughter doubles fit for movies … Georgie Howell-trained second lieutenant competes at the Grand National in Aintree, ridden by her daughter Tabitha Worsley

  • The Second Lieutenant trained by Georgie Howell will participate in the Grand National
  • Should Sub Lieutenant win, that’s Howell’s first success as a licensee
  • Second Lieutenant is ridden by Howell’s 26-year-old daughter Tabitha Worsley

Georgie Howell perfectly sums up Sub Lieutenant’s Randox Grand National challenge when she says, ‘It’s very National Velvet! You never believe these things will happen. ‘

Howell refers to the 1944 MGM film in which schoolgirl Velvet Brown, played by Elizabeth Taylor, prepares a wild but talented horse for the world’s best-known steeplechase, aided by Mickey Rooney’s washed-up former jockey.

The script Howell is working on is less bizarre, but still unlikely.

Georgie Howell hopes her horse Sub Lieutenant can make an impression at the Grand National

Georgie Howell hopes her horse Sub Lieutenant can make an impression at the Grand National

First, if Sub Lieutenant could win, it would be Howell’s very first success as a permit holder, meaning she can only train her own horses, which is something she does in addition to running an engineering company.

The 12-year-old is the standout talent at Howell’s Worcestershire stable with six mediocre stable mates in training.

To complete the story, Sub Lieutenant is ridden by Howell’s 26-year-old jockey daughter Tabitha Worsley.

Opposite them are the most successful trainers and jockeys in Britain and Ireland, but the outsider Sub Lieutenant cannot be written off.

Previously trained by Gordon Elliott, Sub Lieutenant mixed it with some of the best, winning twice at level two and finishing second behind Un de Sceaux in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival 2017.

He also finished second in the 2019 Topham Trophy, the shorter race over the famous gates at the Grand National meeting.

Howell, who paid £ 50,000 for the gelding last September, said: ‘Normally we buy very ordinary, cheap horses that we can have fun with and ride with. I said we should get a better horse so Tabitha can ride in some better races.

“We haven’t thought of the National in a million years.”

Since joining his new stable, Sub Lieutenant has ridden at Ascot twice, finishing fourth behind Captain Chaos both times in February.

Second lieutenant is ridden on Saturday afternoon by Howell's daughter Tabitha Worsley

Second lieutenant is ridden on Saturday afternoon by Howell's daughter Tabitha Worsley

Second lieutenant is ridden on Saturday afternoon by Howell’s daughter Tabitha Worsley

Worsley added: ‘We were over the moon with both runs. In the second, it stayed on after being completely flat. The Grand National’s 4m 2f looks custom for him.

Second Lieutenant has shown good form over the Aintree fences, but Worsley can boast a record of 100 percent. While still an amateur jockey, she won the Foxhunters’ Chase 2019 at Kelly Morgan-trained Top Wood.

Afterwards, the focus was on her recovery from an injury with displaced fractures to her T11 and T12 vertebrae, requiring surgeons to insert six pins and three metal rods to reassemble her. ‘

Her mother said, “I’m proud of what she’s done, but I absolutely hate it. You support your kids in doing what they love, but it can be pretty gruesome to watch. Broken collarbones, her broken back and she likes to knock herself out too. It’s pretty awful. ‘

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