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09 April 2021

Jockeys improvise with Zoom call to connect with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital patients

Jockeys past and present teamed up for a special Zoom call to treat children at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to a Q&A session on Friday, which included some pointers for the big race.

Riders taking part at Aintree’s Randox Grand National Festival traditionally visit the hospital on the morning of Ladies Day on the Friday of the meeting, but with COVID protocols in place, the event was switched to become a virtual gathering.

Current jockeys Daryl Jacob and Richie McLernon were joined on the Zoom call by retired jockeys-turned television pundits Mick Fitzgerald and Ruby Walsh to answer questions about their careers and provide some Randox Grand National clues.

McLernon, who rides Kimberlite Candy, and Jacob, who partners Bristol De Mai, were quietly confident of their chances, while both Ruby Walsh and Mick Fitzgerald like the look of Any Second Now – who is trained by Ruby’s father Ted.

The half-hour session included some jokes from one of the ambassadors, and Daryl Jacob expressed his pleasure at being able to continue the long-held tradition of supporting the children’s hospital.

He said: “It was fantastic to be able to dial in and chat to some of the children at Alder Hey this morning with Richie, Ruby and Mick. It’s a super tradition, which has been going on for many years now on Ladies’ Day and it’s great to be able to support such a great cause.”

Cath Harding, who represents Alder Hey Hospital, added: “It’s such a shame, because if you ask anyone in the hospital it’s our favourite visit of the year. The jockeys come in and give their time up to the patients, so it’s great that they’ve come on to do a Q&A.”

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