Leading Irish rider Rachael Blackmore claimed an astonishing six victories at the Cheltenham Festival; just one short of the all-time Festival record.
The six Festival victories were made all the more impressive due to the differing manner of victory; whether it was from the front or coolly guiding her mounts from the rear of the pack it made little difference.
Her week got off to a fantastic start with victory in the Champion Hurdle on the magnificent mare Honeysuckle. The pair extended their unbeaten run to 11 straight victories. A moment in racing history with Blackmore becoming the first woman to win the prestigious race.
Rachael Blackmore followed up her brilliant start with two winners each on the Wednesday and Thursday: including victory in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase aboard Allaho,
On Gold Cup Day, Blackmore’s carried on where she left off with a power-packed ride aboard Quilixios in the Triumph Hurdle. Her week was almost crowned with the perfect ending, but she and A Plus Tard couldn’t quite reel in Minella Indo in the Gold Cup.
The Tipperary jockey was typically humble when reacting to winning the top jockey award, “I’m genuinely just so overwhelmed by these last few days. It’s all about the horses you’re getting on, and I just feel so lucky to be riding for the people I’m riding for.”
“Getting an award from AP McCoy in the shape of Ruby Walsh is crazy”.
The trainer with which she shared four Festival victories with, Henry de Bromhead, said “Honeysuckle is definitely the standout moment. She is extremely special and she was phenomenal in the Champion Hurdle.”
Cheltenham Festival’s most famous jockey Ruby Walsh commented on Blackmore’s spectacular week by saying, “it’s been incredible what’s she’s done, tactically all week she’s been in the right place on so many horses.”
Rachael Blackmore is on 🔥. If she ends up as leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival it will be the greatest achievement by a female jockey EVER. She’s winning races from the front, from the back, from the middle, on favourites and longer priced horses. It’s brilliant to watch— Clare Balding 💙 (@clarebalding) March 18, 2021
President Higgins to Rachael Blackmore, who was crowned Champion Jockey at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival:— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) March 20, 2021
"Congratulations on your most recent, and groundbreaking, achievement - so well earned, and so well received."
Rachael Blackmore is all smiles at Cheltenham and why not after that scintillating victory on Bob Olinger?— Francis Keogh (@HonestFrank) March 17, 2021
‘Thank you, thank you’ she says to the handful of well-wishers along the rails and gives a modest punch of the air
Riding high but taking it all in her stride pic.twitter.com/LqddJC0ykx
So far, the racing has been great. Like Hollie Doyle on the Flat, Rachael Blackmore is a huge credit to the sport itself. Charming, yet down to earth and modest and, wow, can she ride. Lovely result.— Mr Jim McGrath (@McGracing) March 16, 2021