Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup with a storming finish on 3-1 favourite A Plus Tard on Friday to continue her incredible run of success.
Jumping the last fence level with last year’s winner Minella Indo, A Plus Tard galloped away to win by 15 lengths in front of a roaring crowd enjoying the Spring sunshine.
Irish jockey Blackmore dominated the Cheltenham Festival last year with six wins and in April became the first woman to win the Grand National when she rode Minella Times at Aintree.
This week she won the Champion Hurdle for the second year in succession on unbeaten mare Honeysuckle and now has the Gold Cup to add to her overflowing resume.
Last year’s Cheltenham Festival was held in front of empty stands because of COVID-19 restrictions but the usual 70,000 attendance returned and they were treated to a piece of racing history.
“I can’t believe it. I am so lucky to get to ride all these horses. You can’t do it without these horses. Being attached to Henry’s yard is unbelievable. I don’t know what to say,” Blackmore said.
“I wouldn’t swap the Grand National for anything but this is the Gold Cup. I wish I had something better to say but I just can’t! I can’t explain how lucky I feel.”
Trainer Henry De Bromhead offered his own tributes.
“It was incredible. I’m delighted — Rachael was brilliant on him. I’m delighted with Minella Indo too — he ran an absolute blinder as well,” De Bromhead said.
“Rachael was so brave with the way she went about it. She was just amazing on him. It does feel different this year. It’s the crowd. It’s incredible. It was amazing to win it last year but it’s triple amazing this year.”