Rachael Blackmore has broken unprecedented ground for a female horse racing jockey in recent years. She won prizes that no woman has ever claimed before, and has become one of the biggest names in a sport that has been dominated by men throughout its history.

Rachael Blackmore

Rachael Blackmore

Blackmore has achieved success on a variety of horses. At two of the United Kingdom's biggest racing festivals - the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National - she became the first woman to claim victory at the headline events.

Blackmore's achievements could open up pathways for more women riders to enter the peak levels of the sport in the future.

Cheltenham successes

Blackmore has competed at the Cheltenham Festival on the French horse A Plus Tard since 2019 and has recorded 14 victories at the annual event since.

She will again compete in the upcoming 2024 festival at Cheltenham. In the Paddy Power racing odds, A Plus Tard is offered at 66/1 to claim victory in the Gold Cup. However, Galopin Des Champs is a strong favourite for those who regularly bet on sports online at 2/1. 

The latter is looking for back-to-back success after winning the race last year, however, Blackmore achieved the same feat while riding A Plus Tard in 2022. Both are former champions who have shown that they have what it takes to win one of the UK's major races.

Blackmore won the Champions Hurdle at Cheltenham in consecutive years in 2021 and 2022. Those victories represented a brief peak of her achievements at the festival before she famously won the Gold Cup in the biggest race of the 2022 event seen at Horse and Hound. This made her the first woman to ever win the headline race. 

Winning a single racing event at Cheltenham is a remarkable achievement for any female jockey, considering the proportion of male jockeys who compete in comparison to them. But Blackmore has done much more than that, she has become somewhat of a serial winner at the yearly event, with 14 triumphs since her debut in 2019.

The first woman to win the Grand National

Before her Cheltenham Gold Cup triumph, Blackmore was already known worldwide for her stunning 2021 victory at the Grand National shown at the Jockey Club.

At Aintree, she rode Minella Times to victory in an impressive upset race. Blackmore rode the horse to a comfortable six-and-a-half-length victory. Not only did she break unprecedented ground in winning the event as a female jockey, but she secured victory in emphatic fashion.

Blackmore rode Ain't That A Shame in 2023 and was one of the outright favourites predicted to win the event. Her placing in the pre-race odds could be owed to her self-built stunning reputation in the horse racing world. However, she did not deliver on that expectation with a disappointing 17th-placed finish.

Perhaps Blackmore could return to the Grand National pack for the 2024 standout race, but regardless her legacy in the UK's major horse racing events has already been written.

Blackmore has won not one, but two events that no woman has ever rode to victory in. The Grand National has run for over 184 years, and the Gold Cup will celebrate a century of existence next year. However, Blackmore remains the only woman who can be termed a champion of the events. 


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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