Rachael Blackmore makes history as first woman to win Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle as Honeysuckle wows

RACHAEL BLACKMORE became the first woman to win a championship race at the Cheltenham Festival as she starred on Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle.

Cool as a cucumber, Blackmore timed her challenge on Henry De Bromhead's mare to the second.

As the front-runners began to falter, Blackmore had the 11-10 favourite poised perfectly to take the race up.

Turning in for home she switched on the after-burners and eventual runner-up Sharjah and third-placed Epatante had no answer.

CHELTENHAM FREE BETS: GET £170 IN FREE BETS

Any doubts as to whether Honeysuckle could step up in to the big leagues were dashed as she pinged the final hurdle in isolation.

Blackmore smiled afterwards: "That's absolutely incredible – I'm speechless to be honest.

"I really am. I can't believe we just won a Champion Hurdle – it's incredible.

"I hope the owner Kenny Alexander is getting a kick out of this at home – I'm sure he is, and Peter Molony.

DOWNLOAD THE NEW SUN RACING APP NOW

The ultimate home for all your racing needs.

Number one for tips, betting offers and news – as well as full racecards and an interactive results and odds comparison service.

Download from the App store – HERE

Download on Android – HERE

"It's unbelievable for everyone at the yard – they all work so hard. Henry just produces her every day in that form – and I get to steer her round.

"She's so straightforward to ride. When you know you've an engine under you it's very easy to do things in a race."

Bryony Frost, Katie Walsh and Nina Carberry have all triumphed at the Festival in recent years.

But Blackmore's achievement trumps them all and there will surely be more to come over the next decade.

Second in the Irish jump jockeys championship, Blackmore – daughter of a teacher and dairy farmer – is here to stay.

"It doesn't matter what you are, we're just jockeys and we're winning races. It's just a a privilege to be here," she said.

FREE BETS GET OVER £2,000 IN SIGN UP OFFERS HERE

Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org

Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chase their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org

Source: Read Full Article