Rachel Blackmore becomes first female to be leading Jockey at Cheltenham

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We have the updated table for the leading Jockey, leading Owner, and leading Trainer at the 2021 Cheltenham horse racing festival.

Rachael Blackmore named her Unibet Champion Hurdle victory on Honeysuckle as her highlight of the week after becoming the first female rider to win the Leading Jockey award at The Festival™ supporting WellChild.

The 31 year old rode six winners over the four days, including five Grade Ones, and said: “It’s unbelievable. I share a house with Paddy Mullins and he has got a McCoy trophy and we are going to have a Ruby trophy on the mantelpiece now which is very funny.

“It’s phenomenal. I can’t even comprehend being leading jockey at Cheltenham – that’s crazy stuff. It’s been brilliant. Henry de Bromhead is an incredible trainer. I’m just part of that team and getting on those horses.”

Asked to name a highlight of the week she said: “Honeysuckle is definitely the stand-out moment. She is extremely special and she was phenomenal in the Champion Hurdle.”

On her leading jockey award trophy, which is a statuette of The Festival’s most successful jockey in history, Ruby Walsh, she added: “Getting an award from AP McCoy in the shape of Ruby Walsh is crazy.

“I just walked into the weighing room earlier on and I saw my mother on – I don’t know how that happened but they are getting a great kick out of it at home.”

Asked how she had taken defeat in the Gold Cup, she replied: “My mask was up for a lot of it so you couldn’t see a lot of it (facial expression). I’m delighted for Henry and for all his team at home as they have had some week. I picked the wrong one that’s all I know.”

Blackmore added that she had never contemplated riding six winners this week and added: “I was hoping I would get one and every jockey thinks that, but when that happens it’s some weight off your shoulders and everything is a bonus after that.

“I got a great tune of Allaho and when a horse jumps from fence to fence like that it’s a great thrill for a jockey. It’s fantastic riding for Henry de Bromhead and Willie Mullins around here. I’m still in the bubble of it now I suppose and I don’t know what is going to happen.”

Blackmore’s Festival did, however, conclude with a two day riding ban for “using her whip above the permitted level from turning in” during the WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup on A Plus Tard.

Leading Jockey Award – Final Standings

Jockey 1st 2nd 3rd

Rachael Blackmore 6 1 1

Jack Kennedy 4 2 1

Paul Townend 3 6 4

Nico de Boinville 2 – –

Mark Walsh 1 4 1

Jordan Gainford 1 2 –

Aidan Coleman 1 – 2

Danny Mullins 1 – 1

Sean Flanagan 1 – –

Ryan Mania 1 – –

Richard Condon 1 – –

Keith Donoghue 1 – –

Nick Scholfield 1 – –

Brian Cooper 1 – –

Kevin Sexton 1 – –

Lorcan Williams 1 1 –

Sean O’Keeffe 1 – –

Harry Cobden – 2 3

Robbie Power – 2 –

Harry Skelton – 1 2

Robert Dunne – 1 1

David Bass – 1 –

Tom Cannon – 1 –

Felix De Giles – 1 –

Daryl Jacob – 1 –

Tom Scudamore – 1 –

Jonjo O’Neill Jr – 1 –

Richard Johnson – – 2

Jonathan Burke – – 2

Harry Bannister – – 1

Paddy Brennan – – 1

Adrian Heskin – – 1

Charlie Deutsch – – 1

Luca Morgan – – 1

J J Slevin – – 1

Simon Torrens – – 1

Paul O’Brien – – 1


WILLIE MULLINS CELEBRATES EIGHTH LEADING TRAINER AWARD AT THE FESTIVAL™ SUPPORTING WELLCHILD AFTER “EXTRA TIME WINNER”

 

Friday 19th March

Willie Mullins claimed the Leading Trainer Award at The Festival™ supporting WellChild for an eighth time with victory in the very last of the week’s 28 races and admitted it was like scoring an extra time winner.

The Closutton handler finished the meeting on six winners, the same as Henry de Bromhead, but took the Leading Trainer Award on the number of placed horses over the last four days. He also consolidated his position as the most successful trainer of all time at The Festival, with his total number of winners now standing at 78.

Willie Mullins said: “We’ve just got a goal in extra time to clinch the championship!

“It’s been an in and out Festival but it came good in the end. I always think a third of favourites win and I’m thinking four or five winners. I was hoping we might have a few more. It’s great we’ve had six.

“I suppose Concertista getting beaten, Chacun Pour Soi getting beaten, Al Boum Photo ran a cracker but it wasn’t to be. A few of our hot pots got beat and that puts a little dampener on it but a few of our other horses came up and we got up on the line.

“We had a lot of placed horses, seven seconds and five thirds and one or two fell that were going to be second as well. We’ve not had anything I felt should have won – I think the results were the results and that is where we are.”

Asked to pick a highlight of the week, Mullins said: “Allaho stands out a mile and yesterday I said he might look like a King George horse, but when I analysed it I think we probably should be looking at a Champion Chase rather than a King George.

“The way he jumps I should be going back in trip. I’ve not mentioned that to connections yet but he jumps so slick and fast, I think it wouldn’t be a big leap of faith that he could be a Champion Chase horse.”

Reflecting on the result in the WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup he added: “I thought the ground with the bit of rain and dew we had this morning was fine for Al Boum Photo. Minella Indo has Cheltenham form around here and is a good horse.

“A Plus Tard is a good horse and he advertised that in Ireland and the three pulled right away from the rest of the field. Our fellow is getting a bit older and is not as sharp as he was.

“He missed out the third last and fifth last and they were the fences that won him the race last year. He ran a great race but I was a little disappointed.”

Leading Trainer Award – Standings Day Four

 

 

Trainer                                    1st                    2nd                   3rd

Willie Mullins   IRE                   6                      7                      5

Henry de Bromhead IRE         6                      3                      1

Denise Foster IRE                   3                      4                      2

Nicky Henderson                    2                      2                      2

Gavin Cromwell IRE                2                      –                       –

Ian Ferguson IRE                     1                       –                       –

Noel Meade IRE                      1                       –                       –

Sue Smith                               1                       –                       –

Paul Hennessy IRE                  1                       –                       –

Jonjo O’Neill                           1                       –                       –

Paul Nolan IRE            1                       –                       –

Emmet Mullins IRE                  1                       –                       –

Peter Fahey IRE                      1                       –                       –

Will Biddick                             1                       –                       –

Colin Tizzard                           –                       3                      1

Joseph O’Brien IRE                 –                       2                      2

Dan Skelton                            –                       2                      2

Paul Nicholls                           –                       1                       2

Venetia Williams                     –                       1                       1

Kim Bailey                               –                       1                       –

David Cottin FR                      –                       1                       –

David Pipe                              –                       1                       –

John McConnell IRE                –                       –                       2

Enda Bolger IRE                      –                       –                       1

Harriet Graham                       –                       –                       1

Alex Hales                              –                       –                       1

Fergal O’Brien                         –                       –                       1

Tom Lacey                              –                       –                       1

Tom George                           –                       –                       1

Emma Lavelle                         –                       –                       1

Neil Mulholland                       –                       –                       1

 

Cheveley Park Stud land ROA Leading Owner Award

The ROA Leading Owner Award went to Cheveley Park Stud who celebrated three winners over the four days – Sir Gerhard (Weatherbys Champion Bumper), Allaho (Ryanair Chase) and Quilixios (JCB Triumph Hurdle).

The Newmarket-based operation, winning the award for the first time, also went close to glory in the WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup with runner-up A Plus Tard.

ROA Leading Ow­­ner Award – Standings Day Four

Owner                                    1st                    2nd                   3rd

Cheveley Park Stud                3                      2                      –

Kenny Alexander                    2                      –                       –

J P McManus                           1                       5                      2

Marie Donnelly                        1                       1                       3

Susannah Ricci                        1                       1                       1

Miss M A Masterson                1                       1                       –

Gigginstown House Stud       1                       1                       1

Robcour                                  1                       1                       –

Trevor Hemmings                   1                       1                       –

Ronnie Bartlett                       1                       –                       –

Albert Dravins/Eamonn Scanlon 1                 –                       –

Mrs C Walsh/N Lightfoot       1                       –                       –

Mr J Turner                             1                       1                       –

One For Luck Racing Syndicate 1                   –                       –

Martin Tedham                        1                       –                       –

Manverton Limited                 1                       –                       –

Flooring Porter Syndicate      1                       –                       –

Paul Byrne                               1                       –                       –

KTDA Racing                          1                       –                       –

Direct Bloodstock Limited     1                       –                       –

Mrs H M Keaveney                  1                       –                       –

Barry Maloney                         1                       –                       –

John Studd                             1                       –                       –

Mrs N Flynn                             1                       –                       –

Mrs Audrey Turley                  1                       –                       –

Simon Munir/Isaac Souede     –                       2                      1

Noel and Valerie Moran          –                       2                      –

Malcolm Denmark                   –                       1                       –

Lady Dulverton                       –                       1                       –

J P Romans & Terry Warner   –                       1                       –

Edward Ware                          –                       1                       –

Taylor, Burley & O’Dwyer       –                       1                       –

Robert Kirkland                       –                       1                       –

T Spraggett                            –                       1                       –

Bryan Drew And Friends        –                       1                       –

Mrs Mary-Ann Middleton        –                       1                       –

Colm Donlon                           –                       1                       –

Geoff & Elspeth Adam            –                       –                       1

Caveat Emptor Partnership    –                       –                       1

Sarah Faulks                            –                       –                       1

Declan Landy                          –                       –                       1

McNeil Family                         –                       –                       1

Premier Plastering UK Ltd      –                       –                       1

John Dance And Bryan Drew –                      –                       1

Eric Jones, Geoff Nicholas, John Romans –   –                       1

Jerry Hinds & Ashley Head    –                       –                       1

Some Neck Partnership          –                       –                       1

The Bellamy Partnership        –                       –                       1

Mrs Suzanne Lawrence           –                       –                       1

Noel Fehily Racing Syndicates-Teddy –         –                       1

T F P                                        –                       –                       1

Andrew Gemmell                   –                       –                       1

Capel Street Syndicate          –                       –                       1

David Maxwell Racing Limited –                     –                       1

Ms J Bridel                              –                       –                       1

Ms Caroline Ahearn                –                       –                       1

Claudio Michael Grech            –                       –                       1

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