Rachael Blackmore nominated for the BBC World Sports Star of the Year award

News | 10th December 2021

Rachael Blackmore has had a remarkable year, the Cheltenham Festival leading rider and Grand National winner has been nominated for the prestigious SPOTY award.

Rachael Blackmore has had a dream year and it keeps on getting better. It’s been an astonishing 12 months for the Irish jockey where her record‐breaking achievements would have had Norris McWhirter putting in overtime.

Not only did the 32‐year‐old Irish sensation become the first woman rider to win the Grand National, she also had a stunning Cheltenham Festival.

Her impressive haul of six winners ‐ including the Champion Hurdle, Ryanair Chase and Triumph Hurdle – saw her become the first female rider to be crowned top jockey at jump racing’s biggest meeting.

Rachael’s rise through the ranks has been meteoric. Her tactical awareness throughout races is unrivalled and she is widely regarded as one of the best riders at presenting horses at jumps.

Even a few years ago it would have been almost unthinkable that Blackmore could be considered the best National Hunt jockey.

That’s where she now sits, such is her talent. To top it off, she has now been shortlisted for the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year in the World Sport Star category.

BBC World Sports Star nominees including Rachael Blackmore

When Rachael arrived in Britain for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, she already had three Irish Grade 1 prizes safely in the bag that season. Two of those – the Hatton’s Grade Hurdle and the Irish Champion Hurdle – had come on star mare Honeysuckle.

Henry de Bromhead’s superstar, owned by Kenny Alexander, was soon to make that three top‐level victories for the season when running away with the Champion Hurdle with Rachael positioning the unbeaten ace perfectly throughout.

The following day she teamed up with Bob Olinger ‐ winner of the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle earlier in the season ‐ to win the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

The seven‐and‐a‐half length victory was easy enough but Rachael’s decision making when picking her way through the field coming down the hill towards the second last was sublime.

Sir Gerhard’s victory in the Champion Bumper – a third Grade 1 success in the first two days of the Festival – showcased Rachael’s judgement of pace. Making all the running, she increased the tempo at just the right time as Willie Mullins’ youngster held off better‐fancied stablemate Kilcruit in the closing stages.

Another frontrunning ride on another Mullins star racing in the famous Cheveley Park Stud colours gave Racheal a fourth Grade 1 win of the week in the Ryanair Chase. Allaho scorched off in front and a stunning round of jumping burnt off their rivals one by one.

Telmesomethinggirl’s showed Rachael’s versatility with a come‐from‐behind victory in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle before Quilixios’ Triumph Hurdle win capped a sensational week for the rider.

Rachael Blackmore with the Cheltenham Festival leading rider award

Her six Festival wins saw her land the meeting’s leading jockey honour and she could have hardly believed life could get any better. Three weeks later it did. A flawless ride on Minella Times saw Rachael make history when becoming the first female rider to win the Grand National.

Her victory in the world’s greatest race catapulted her on to the front pages and into the hearts of the nation. A Plus Tard, Honeysuckle and Envoi Allen have helped Rachael continue this season as she finished the last one – in the winners’ enclosure following big races.

There is now no doubt she is now jump racing’s premier jockey.

It’s easy to see why Rachael has been shortlisted for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year’s World Sport Star award.

Her astonishing achievements have transcended the confines of racing circles with recognition from the wider public. She faces stiff opposition in the SPOTY World Sport Star category but there could no more deserving winner.

Find out if the inspirational jockey wins the prestigious award on BBC Sports Personality of the Year from 6:45pm, Sunday 19th December.