Rachael Blackmore more emotional than ever as she wins the Gold Cup
Rachael Blackmore was lost for words after winning the Gold Cup but that didn't matter because as usual, the Tipperary jockey had let her actions do the talking.
It was the one that got away last year when, after chasing Minella Indo up the run-in, Blackmore and A Plus Tard were the bridesmaids that only just missed out on the glory. Blackmore kept the faith in A Plus Tard this time around and that faith was rewarded as, in a reversal of last year's result, A Plus Tard was first home and Minella Indo was second.
There wasn't much in it last year, and Blackmore blamed herself for going too soon on the Cheaveley Park Stud horse but there was clear daylight here. In yet another brave piece of riding, the 32-year-old sat tight and, with Robbie Power and Minella Indo kicking for home, she bided her time before striking just before the final fence.
A Plus Tard gave the jockey the jump she was looking for and from there it was all over bar the shouting. Even beforehand, Henry De Bromhead's charge was seen as the fastest in the race and she proved that when storming up the run-in, leaving almost 15 lengths between her and her nearest rival.
Afterwards, Rachael was more emotional than ever. The tears weren't far away and, even though she'd won it all before, it seemed that, on a beautiful day in Cheltenham, the Gold Cup was one she always wanted.
The Pretsbury Park crowd roared her back to the parade ring, they congratulated and lauded their hero. She's done it again and it's no stretch to say that she's won it all now.
"This is the Gold Cup! I wish I'd something better to say. I can't," she said afterwards.
"I can't explain how frickin lucky I feel!"
Never seen Rachael so emotional
She's won it all nowpic.twitter.com/W23bg8IcIX
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) March 18, 2022
"When I took out my licence, I didn't think I'd be riding in Cheltenham, never-mind riding the favourite in the Gold Cup," she added afterwards.
"What is happening now is a dream I could never have allowed myself to have."