Leading Jockeys at the Cheltenham Festival

Tuesday 16th - Friday 19th March 2021


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

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