Rachael Blackmore makes history to become the first female jockey EVER to win Cheltenham Gold Cup


Rachael Blackmore makes history AGAIN as she becomes the first female jockey to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with a barnstorming finish on A Plus Tard ending her ‘unfinished business’ from last year

  • A Plus Tard triumphed in the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival on Friday
  • Al Boum Photo, Minella Indo and A Plus Tard were the top three from last season 
  • The Gold Cup is the blue-riband event on the fourth and final day of the Festival 

Rachael Blackmore became the first ever woman to win the Gold Cup in a record-breaking ride, triumphing on A Plus Tard in an enthralling showpiece at the Cheltenham Festival on Friday to take jump racing’s most coveted trophy.

The Gold Cup is the blue-riband event on the fourth and final day of the famous old horse racing festival.

A Plus Tard, the Henry de Bromhead-trained horse, streaked away from the field to win by 15 to 20 lengths from Minella Indo and Protektorat, successfully overcoming 10 competitors and negotiating the 22 fences across three-and-a-quarter miles.

The ride avenges A Plus Tard and Blackmore’s defeat last year against stablemate Minella Indo, delivering on their position as 3-1 favourite, storming up the hill to secure a stylish and convincing success.  

Second 12 months ago to fellow Henry de Bromhead-trained runner Minella Indo, the pair reversed that form in style as the 3-1 favourite stormed up the hill to claim a stylish success.

Blackmore, who became the first woman to win the Champion Hurdle and Grand National last season, is now the first woman to land the Cheltenham Gold Cup. 

Rachael Blackmore made history on A Plus Tard, becoming the first ever woman to win the Gold Cup in the blue-riband event at the famous Cheltenham festival on Friday afternoon

Rachael Blackmore made history on A Plus Tard, becoming the first ever woman to win the Gold Cup in the blue-riband event at the famous Cheltenham festival on Friday afternoon

Blackmore raced clear of the field on the Henry de Bromhead-trained horse to win comfortably

Blackmore raced clear of the field on the Henry de Bromhead-trained horse to win comfortably

Speaking to ITV, Blackmore said: ‘I just can’t believe it. I’m so lucky to be getting to ride all these kind of horses. You can’t do this without the horses and being attached to Henry’s yard is just absolutely phenomenal. To give me this horse is unbelievable.

‘I don’t know what to say. I’ve had so many special days. I wouldn’t swap the Grand National for anything but this is the Gold Cup. I wish I had something better to say right now. I just can’t.

‘You have all these plans about how things are going to work out. Racing doesn’t let that happen all the time and for some reason it’s happened to me today. I just can’t explain how lucky I feel.’ 

Blackmore and A Plus Tard streaked clear of Minella Indo (centre) to win by 15 to 20 lengths

Blackmore and A Plus Tard streaked clear of Minella Indo (centre) to win by 15 to 20 lengths

Last season’s top three faced off again in a fascinating rematch, with Paul Townend on 2019 and 2020 winner Al Boum Photo, Jack Kennedy on last year’s winner Minella Indo and Rachael Blackmore on A Plus Tard. 

Blackmore was the leading jockey at last year’s meeting and proved her credentials again.

Legendary former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson saw the horse he part owns, Protektorat, finish third.

Richard Thompson, of owners Cheveley Park Stud, said: ‘We’ve been talking about this moment, and it’s happened. It’s absolutely fantastic to win the Gold Cup. Incredible.

‘My father would have loved it, he watched the Gold Cup for many years and to actually win it is incredible. I can’t even speak. 

‘I did feel she was a bit far back, but I knew she had a gameplan – she has totally delivered. What a day for racing.’ 

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