Cheltenham Festival 2022: Who will Rachael Blackmore ride?
Rachael Blackmore’s likely rides at Cheltenham 2022
Rachael Blackmore made history in 2021 when becoming the first female jockey to walk away with the Ruby Walsh Trophy awarded to the Cheltenham Festival’s leading rider.
She landed six winners in total, all aboard Grade One scorers, and also became the first female to land the Champion Hurdle when partnering the all-conquering Honeysuckle in the opening-day feature.
We have already taken a look at Blackmore’s nine previous Cheltenham Festival winners and now we look at her possible rides for the 2022 Festival.
Blackmore has the chance to get on the board early with Coeur Sublime who has solid each-way claims in the opening-day novice chase.
The Tipperary rider was on top when the seven-year-old scored at Gowran in January and in an open year, he could easily land the Cheltenham Festival victory he has threatened in the past.
Undoubtedly Blackmore’s best chance of a winner, she teams up with the unbeaten mare once again as they look for back-to-back Champion Hurdle victories.
The dynamic duo has two Cheltenham Festival victories to their name having also won the Mares’ Hurdle in 2020 and they are the ones to beat in the opening-day feature.
It could be a big hour for Blackmore, trainer Henry de Bromhead and owner Kenneth Alexander as 40 minutes after Honeysuckle has strutted her stuff, Telmesomethinggirl looks to follow up her victory in last year’s Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle in the Grade One contest for her elders.
She is favourite for a race which has been dominated by Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott in the past and victory for the seven-year-old would be further proof of De Bromhead’s stature in the training ranks.
Blackmore guided Bob Olinger to success in this race 12 months ago and connections look to repeat the dose with the unbeaten Journey With Me.
The form of his two victories over hurdles reads very well and he will head to the day-two opener with leading claims.
🗣 "This is a horse we will see to better effect the further he goes."
Interesting analysis from Gary & Ruby who discuss Ballymore contender Journey With Me who retained his unbeaten record with victory at @NaasRacecourse last weekend#RoadToCheltenham | @paddypower pic.twitter.com/rIGAmcCd9L
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Once hailed as the saviour of National Hunt racing, Envoi Allen’s flame has been extinguished somewhat since his fall at the Cheltenham Festival last year.
He has won just two of his five starts since switched to De Bromhead, but got back on track when dropped back to two miles at Christmas and could take his chance in a red-hot renewal of the Champion Chase on Wednesday afternoon.
A winner at Prestbury Park 12 months ago, Bob Olinger and Blackmore will take centre stage as they go head-to-head with Galopin Des Champs in what could be a thrilling showdown at Prestbury Park.
Both head into this race unbeaten over fences and there is likely to be little between the duo in one of the races of the week.
Blackmore registered her first Grade One when partnering Minella Indo to victory in this race in 2019 and her mount this time around looks in a similar mould.
Although beaten on his hurdling debut, Shantreusse is unbeaten in two outings since stepped up to three miles, a 17-length winner at Cork in January, before claiming Graded honours at Clonmel last month.
The six-year-old will relish the stamina-sapping test of this race and could be right in the mix at the business end.
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The one race Blackmore will be desperate to win is the Cheltenham Gold Cup as she looks to correct the one disappointment from last year’s Cheltenham Festival when the 32-year-old and her mount had to watch on as her former charge Minella Indo refused to give way up the Cheltenham hill.
That silver medal was a bitter-sweet end to a phenomenal week for Blackmore, but they head into this year’s contest as the market leader with Ladbrokes as she attempts to become the first female winner of the blue riband.
All odds and market correct at date of publication