Rachael Blackmore leading Cheltenham jockey in ‘phenomenal’ Festival

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Rachael Blackmore said her Cheltenham Festival had been “phenomenal” after becoming the first woman to be the leading jockey at the meeting.

The Irish rider had six wins, more than the entire British training contingent.

Blackmore, 31, was the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle, with Honeysuckle, and was second on A Plus Tard in the Gold Cup, which was won by Minella Indo.

“I can’t even comprehend being leading jockey – it’s crazy stuff,” she said.

“It’s phenomenal. It’s been brilliant. Henry de Bromhead is an incredible trainer. I’m just part of that team and getting on those horses.”

De Bromhead saddled Honeysuckle and became the first trainer to claim the ‘Holy Trinity’ of jump racing at Cheltenham, also winning the Champion Chase with Put The Kettle On before a 1-2 in the Gold Cup.

While women compete on level terms against men in horse racing, it is only in recent years their chances have come regularly in the major races.

No female jockey had ever finished in the first three of the Champion Hurdle or Gold Cup before.

Her six victories at the meeting have only been topped by one other jockey – the Festival’s all-time top rider Ruby Walsh, who had seven wins twice.


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