Rachael Blackmore made racing history at Cheltenham, winning the Champion Hurdle riding Honeysuckle.

Blackmore rode to victory by six and a half lengths on the 11-10 favourite.

Now all eyes will turn to Aintree and whether she can become the first female winning jockey at the Grand National next month.

Speaking to the BBC after her Cheltenham win, she said: “I can’t believe we just won the Champion Hurdle.

“Incredible. Unbelievable for everyone in the yard, they all work so hard.

“It doesn’t matter what you are. We are jockeys. It is just a privilege to be here.”

Before the Cheltenham Festival, Blackmore told RacingTV that Honeysuckle’s trainers Henry de Bromhead and Coleman Comerford were really happy with the horse in the run up to Cheltenham.

Following Honeysuckle’s victory, trainer Henry de Bromhead said: “Rachael is a brilliant rider on any horse and Honeysuckle is just a brilliant horse. The combination is deadly – it’s the perfect storm.”

Victory in Cheltenham’s Champion Hurdle was Honeysuckle’s 11th consecutive victory.

Despite fans missing in Gloucestershire due to the coronavirus pandemic, Blackmore and Honeysuckle were given a rousing reception upon returning to the winners enclosure.

Blackmore will also compete in Friday’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, riding A Plus Tard on current odds of 9/2.

“There is no deal about being a female jockey anymore”

The victory is a huge moment within horse racing, as Blackmore leads a new generation of female jockeys in a sport where men and women can compete equally.

Blackmore said that she hoped the triumph would inspire others to get into being a jockey.

“There is no deal about being a female jockey anymore. If you want to be a jockey you can be a jockey, drive on,” said the Irish 31-year-old.

“To young people, if you want to do something go and do it. For me standing here right now, anything can happen.”

There is a growing list of female jockeys who are getting acclaim for their performances on the circuit.

These names include Briton Hollie Doyle who finished third in BBC Sport Personality of the Year in 2020.

Other notable riders Josephine Gordon, Hayley Turner, Bryony Frost and Lizzie Kelly.

The Grand National

Aintree’s Grand National has never seen a female victor.

In 2012, Katie Walsh rode Seabass to 3rd placed finish. Since then, nobody has finished higher than third in the Grand National.

In 2019, Racheal Blackmore finished 10th in the Grand National, riding Valseur Lido.

The Grand National is considered to be the biggest single race in Horse Racing.

For the good of the sport, a female winner in its biggest race would be great for the sport.

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