#UK RACING: RACHAEL BLACKMORE BECOMES THE FIRST FEMALE JOCKEY TO WIN THE GRAND NATIONAL

Rachael Blackmore ridding Minella Times celebrates after winning the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase on the third day of the Grand National Horse Racing meeting at Aintree racecourse, near Liverpool, England, Saturday April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, Pool)
Rachael Blackmore ridding Minella Times celebrates after winning the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase on the third day of the Grand National Horse Racing meeting at Aintree racecourse, near Liverpool, England, Saturday April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, Pool)

Rachael Blackmore made history at Aintree as she became the first female jockey to win the Grand National on Minella Times.

Blackmore led home a one-two for trainer Henry de Bromhead, winning at 11-1 from 100-1 runner-up Balko Des Flos.

The Irish jockey, who last month was the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham – on De Bromhead’s Honeysuckle – bided her time before challenging and leading two out en route to even greater glory at Aintree in the Randox-sponsored spectacular.

Aidan Coleman partnered Balko Des Flos – and Any Second Now was third for trainer Ted Walsh, with Willie Mullins’ Burrows Saint finishing fourth.

Farclas was fifth to give Irish-trained horses a famous 1-2-3-4-5.

The favourite, Cloth Cap, jumped and travelled well for along way but pulled up. Fifteen finished, with only three of them – Blaklion, Hogan’s Height and Sub Lieutenant – being trained in Britain.

Blackmore said: “I just cannot believe it. He was an absolutely sensational spin. What Henry de Bromhead does with these horses, I don’t know! I’m so lucky to be riding them, I just cannot believe I’m after winning the Grand National. This is unbelievable.”

Blackmore was full of praise for Minella Times, one of seven horses in the race owned by JP McManus – among them Any Second Now.

“He was just incredible, he jumped beautifully,” she said. “I was trying to wait for as long as I could – when we jumped the last and I asked him for a bit, he was there. It’s just incredible.

“I don’t feel male or female right now – I don’t even feel human. This is just unbelievable.”

A delighted De Bromhead, who also trained the first two home in last month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, made clear his admiration for Blackmore. “She’s brilliant, isn’t she?” he said.

“Aren’t we so lucky to have her? They broke the mould after her – she’s brilliant.”

So too was Minella Times, who had six and a half lengths to spare from his stablemate – with another length and three-quarters to Any Second Now and then a long gap to Burrows Saint.

The County Waterford trainer added: “It’s just brilliant. It’s down to Rachael, obviously. She was brilliant going into today, I’m delighted … amazing, super ride.

“She hardly left the rail, she was just brilliant on him. It was brilliant to get it for the McManuses.

“I’m over the moon – Balko was super as well. Aidan was super on him, he ran an absolute cracker as well.

“It feels amazing, it really does. It’s incredible, stuff you dream of. I’ve been watching (this race) since I was a kid. It’s amazing. I’m just so lucky.”

Result

1 Minella Times (Rachael Blackmore) 11-1

2 Balko Des Flos (Aidan Coleman) 100-1

3 Any Second Now (M P Walsh) 15-2

4 Burrows Saint (Mr P W Mullins) 9-1

40 ran

Also: 11-2 Fav Cloth Cap CSF: £882.65 Tricast: £8593.94

 

 

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