Blackmore becomes first female to be crowned top jockey at Cheltenham Festival

Irish jockey Rachael Blackmore has become the first female jockey to  be crowned top jockey at Cheltenham Festival. The 33-year-old won the Champion Hurdle, with horse Honeysuckle, and was second on A Plus Tard in the Gold Cup won by Minella Indo.

Blackmore had six wins, more than the entire British training contingent and received plaudits from former Irish jockeys Ruby Walsh and AP McCoy.

She said:

“It’s unbelievable (to be leading rider). I share a house with Patrick Mullins and he’s got a McCoy trophy, so we’re now going to have both AP McCoy and Ruby Walsh on the mantlepiece.

It’s phenomenal. I can’t even comprehend being leading rider in Cheltenham. Getting an award from AP McCoy in the shape of Ruby Walsh – that’s crazy!

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

she not only won with Honeysuckle , but had a victory on Henry de Bromhead-trained Quilixios in the JCB Triumph Hurdle – and it so nearly won the Gold Cup through A Plus Tard but couldn’t beat stable mate Minella Indo

The amount of support she’s getting locally, my phone has literally melted. I understand that she won the first race, so my husband Charles is just wondering. He needs a new JCB – is there a lovely smart one there? She might treat him to it.

“I avoid watching it when I can. It’s very hard when it’s your own child. When I’m home here and I’m not in work I will maybe watch the last three fences or whatever.

“She was always very keen and she was competitive with her older brother, anything that he jumped, she wanted to jump.

The next step for Blackmore will be the Grand National which will take place on Thursday, April 8 at 1.45pm and ends with the National on Saturday, April 10 in 2021.

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