Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

19.24 19 Mar 2021


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Even while speaking to the press with the Ruby Walsh trophy by her side, Rachael Blackmore was struggling to comprehend being Cheltenham's top jockey.

The Tipperary native's sixth winner of a remarkable week came aboard Quilixios in the opening race of the final day - the JCB Triumph Hurdle.

Blackmore was just one winner shy of equalling Ruby Walsh's record of wins at a single festival.

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"Aw man, it's unbelievable!" she exclaimed afterwards.

"Paddy Mullins is a housemate of mine, and he's got a McCoy Trophy, so we're going to have Ruby and McCoy both on the mantlepiece.

"So it's going to be funny.

"I can't even comprehend being leading jockey in Cheltenham - that's crazy stuff."

Blackmore was just 1 1/4 lengths from equalling Walsh's record and, with it, winning jump racing's blue riband.

She opted to ride A Plus Tard over Minella Indo in the Gold Cup, with Jack Kennedy piloting the latter to a thrilling win for trainer Henry De Bromhead.

"He's just an incredible trainer," Blackmore said of the Waterford trainer, 'The week he's had, I don't have to.... it's phenomenal.

"So I'm just part of that team and getting on those horses, and it's just incredible."

Victory in the Gold Cup secured an historic hat-trick for De Bromhead, following his victories in the Champion Hurdle and the Champion Chase.

And when asked for a favourite winner of the week, Blackmore erred on the side of the Champion Hurdle-winner, "Honeysuckle is definitely the stand-out moment. She's extremely special, and she was phenomenal [in winning the] Champion Hurdle.

"It's incredible, and very special.

"Getting an award from AP McCoy in the shape of Ruby Walsh, like, it's crazy."

Blackmore added, ""I was hoping I'd get one - every jockey, I suppose thinks that - but when that happens it's some weight off your shoulders, and everything's a bonus after that."

Her triumphs have been shared back home in Killenaule, even if her family can't be with her to share in the moment, "I just walked into the weigh room there earlier on," Blackmore said, "And ITV was on and I saw my mother up on it - I don't know how that happened - but they're getting a great kick out of it at home. It's brilliant."

‘We should have her face on billboards’ | Rachael Blackmore an inspiration


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AP McCoy A Plus Tard Cheltenham Cheltenham Festival Henry De Bromhead Honeysuckle Minella Indo Rachael Blackmore Ruby Walsh

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