Horse racing – Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup

Cheltenham Festival
Horse Racing – Cheltenham Festival – Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Britain – March 18, 2022 Rachael Blackmore celebrates with the trophy after winning the 15:30 Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase and freeing A Plus Tard REUTERS/Molly Darlington

March 18, 2022

(Reuters) – Rachael Blackmore became the first jockey to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup with a storming finish against 3-1 favorites A Plus Tard on Friday to continue her incredible winning streak.

A Plus Tard jumped the last tier of fence with last year’s winner Minella Indo and cantered away to win by 15 lengths in front of a roaring crowd enjoying the spring sunshine.

Irish jockey Blackmore dominated last year’s Cheltenham Festival with six victories and in April became the first woman to win the Grand National when she rode the Minella Times at Aintree.

This week she won the Champion Hurdle for the second straight year on undefeated mare Honeysuckle and now has the Gold Cup to add to her overflowing resume.

Last year’s Cheltenham Festival took place to empty grandstands due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the usual 70,000 spectators returned and they were treated to a piece of racing history.

“I can not believe it. I’m so lucky to be able to ride all these horses. It doesn’t work without these horses. Being attached to Henry’s garden is amazing. I don’t know what to say,” said the 32-year-old daughter of a dairy farmer.

“I wouldn’t trade the Grand National for anything, but this is the Gold Cup. I wish I had something better to say but I just can’t! I can’t explain how happy I feel.”

Coach Henry De Bromhead offered his own tributes.

“It was amazing. I’m thrilled – Rachael was brilliant with him. I’m also thrilled about Minella Indo – he ran absolutely blind too,” he told the BBC.

“Rachael was so brave in how she went about it. She was just incredible about him. This year feels different. It’s the crowd. It’s incredible. It was incredible to win it last year but this year is triple amazing.”

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Alex Richardson and Toby Davis) Horse racing – Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup


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