Rachael Blackmore made racing history when she became the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham with a win at Honeysuckle

The Irish driver coolly led the 11:10 favorite and won for coach Henry de Bromhead by six and a half lengths

It was an eleventh win in a row for the unbeaten mare and a milestone for her 31-year-old jockey

“Absolutely unbelievable. I’m speechless, to be honest. I really am,” said the enthusiastic winning jockey, who hails from Killenaule, County Tipperary

“I can’t believe we just won the championship hurdle. Incredible Incredible for everyone on the farm, everyone is working so hard

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

Although the meeting took place without spectators, Honeysuckle and her cheering rider were roused into the winner’s enclosure by those present

Racing was looking for a lift after trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Rob James were both banned after posts shared on social media by them riding a dead horse and the festival’s opening day made some exciting gigs. p>
Appreciation It was a 24-length winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, while Shishkin won the 12-length Arkle Chase and veteran Vintage Clouds won the Ultima Chase

Meanwhile, 80-1 underdog Jeff Kidder caused a shock in the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle while Denise ‘Sneezy Foster – who stood up for Elliott during his suspension – had her first festival winner with Black Tears in the Mares’ Hurdle

Blackmore was runner-up in the Irish Jockeys Championship last year and is leading a new generation of jockeys in a sport where women compete on an equal footing with men

Victory comes less than three months after Bryony Frost achieved another historic jumping triumph on Frodon at King George VI Chase in Kempton

And in flat racing, Hollie Doyle took third place in the BBC’s “Sports Personality of the Year”

after a record year
There could be more to come Blackmore also has a leading chance in Friday’s Cheltenham Gold Cup on Honeysuckle’s stablemate A Plus Tard while Frost rides Frodon in the big race

Honeysuckle – winner of the Irish Champion Hurdle under Blackmore in February – had been well supported in the run-up to the race and had passed the two-mile competition without a hitch while others struggled

Abacadabras was a faller on the third flight, and Goshen, who dramatically knocked out jockey Jamie Moore on the final obstacle in leading the Triumph Hurdle last year, lost his chance when he grabbed a sharp grip and right on a wide open route

Blackmore brought out her mount to lead between the last two hurdles and she jumped up the hill to leave her rivals behind

“It was amazing. She’s a very laid back, laid back mare – she’s amazing,” said De Bromhead, who lives in Knockeen, County Waterford,

Ex-Cheltenham Festival winner jockey Katie Walsh on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra: “Absolutely brilliant I think it’s just awesome She deserves it so much She works hard and it’s history

“I am delighted with who she is and she is a merit to the sport and a fantastic jockey

“She took it to another level. It’s great and special to watch”

Former jump jockey Charlie Poste: “I think it’s a joyful day to race to see these achievements – Rachael Blackmore is as good as any jockey right now and partnering with Honeysuckle is a delight

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Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/horse-racing/56408640