Grand National Jockey: Rachel Blackmore
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In the world of British horse racing, Rachel Blackmore is the definition of a superstar. She has smashed through the classic ceiling that was previously there, and now she is looking the best placed to become the first women’s Grand National jockey winner. During her career, Rachel Blackmore has ridden 90 winners, and that includes her winning ride on A Plus Tard back in March, which was her first winner at the Cheltenham Festival.
Rachel Blackmore was born and raised in Killenaule, County Tipperary and went on to ride 11 point-to-point winners, before seven as an amateur. In March 2015 she turned professional, and it didn’t take long for her to claim her first success when she rode Most Honourable to success in September of the same year. She immediately partnered up with trainer Shark Hanlon in her quest for the title of ‘Rachel Blackmore Grand National-winning jockey’.
Her first notable success as a professional game in March 2017 when she rode the Ellmarie Holden-trained Abolitionist to success in the Download The Ladbrokes Exchange App Leinster National Handicap Chase at Naas. Rachel Blackmore wasn’t there just to make up the numbers, and that was evident as she became the first female to win the Conditional Rider’s title for the 2016-17 season after riding 32 winners.
Rachel Blackmore would win her 60th race as she guided Sweet Home Chicago to success in the Oulart Maiden Hurdle in Wexford on June 21st 2017. Her first treble quickly followed as she rode Theatre Dreams, Monbeg Chit Chat and Classic Theatre to successes at Tipperary in July 2018. She achieved the same feat again in February 2019 at Gowran Park, which also included a first Grade 2 success over fences onboard Monalee.
First festival joy wouldn’t be too far behind that for the future Grand National jockey as she rode A Plus Tard to a major success in the Close Brother Novices’ Handicap Chase. She would win by an amazing 16 lengths, despite being set off at a price of 5/1. Rachel Blackmore would then achieve her first Grade 1 success in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle on the final day of the festival on board Minella Indo.
She would secure her first Grade 1 success in Ireland before the end of the 2018-19 season when she rode Honeysuckle to success in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final. That victory ensured that she comfortably wracked up 90 winners, which was enough for the runners-up spot in the jockeys’ championship.
There still hasn’t been a winning female Grand National jockey, and that will be a record that Rachel Blackmore will be attempting to change. Rachel Blackmore’s Grand National in 2019 was a brilliant effort. She managed to claim a tenth-placed finish for 66/1 shot Valseur Lido. We may not be waiting for a female winning Grand National jockey with the form that Rachel Blackmore is showing.
- In 2015, she became the first woman since Maria Cullen in the 1980s to turn professional in the sport.
- She was the first woman to win the Conditional Riders Championship.
- Rachel Blackmore Grand National Jockey also set the record for the most wins by a female jockey in UK and Ireland.
- She is the daughter of a teacher and a dairy farmer which highlights she was not put into this world like many other jockeys.
She has started the new season in tremendous form, although she is slightly down on her win percentage from the season before. She has a win percentage this season of 13%, which is only beaten by her record of 15% last season. Rachel Blackmore has saddled up on 302 occasions to this point, and she has claimed 39 wins.
Rachel Blackmore Grand National staying power has also been shown by the fact that she has come second on 40 occasions and third on 32 occasions. Blackmore has already recorded two big wins this season onboard Notebook and Jan Maat. The latter of which was a Grade 3 meeting at Punchestown in the Ladbrokes Acca Boosty Buck House Novice Chase, while the other game two months later in the Elliott Group Craddockstown Novice Chase.