Clare Balding in the running for Cheltenham Ladies’ Day Award

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  • Grand National winning-trainer Venetia Williams and broadcaster Clare Balding are among six women up for the Cheltenham Ladies’ Award this year.

    The award recognises “the outstanding contribution made by a lady to jump racing”.

    Trainers Sally Alner and Jessica Harrington are also up for the award as is Belinda Cullen, an equine physiotherapist, and Irish racing stalwart Joan Moore, who is grandmother to last year’s winner, Nina Carberry.

    Nominations from the public have been whittled down to the final six and the winner will be decided by an all female panel from the racing world, which will be announced on Friday 12 March.

    The successful lady will then be presented with her award at Ladies’ Day at the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday 18 March.

    “We were delighted to receive so many nominations covering a wide cross-section of the industry and the make up of the final six sums up the hugely significant contribution ladies make across the whole spectrum of jump racing,” said Cheltenham’s managing director Edward Gillespie.

    “The judges do not face an easy task.”

    Previous winners include Heather Atkinson, who has been the senior nurse in the jockeys’ hospital at the racecourse for over 30 years, Lady Chicky Oaksey, from the Injured Jockeys Fund, Ann Saunders from the Professional Jockeys Association and Nina Carberry, leading female jump jockey.

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