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15th Mar 2022

Rachael Blackmore’s mother gives a brilliant interview after her daughter’s Champion Hurdle win

Niall McIntyre

She said she was the proudest woman in the world last year, when Rachael Blackmore and Honeysuckle stormed up the Cheltenham hill and she must feeling something similar again now.

Eimir Blackmore gets nervous and that’s why, with her daughter in the middle of it all, she doesn’t go racing all that often but she’s glad she didn’t stay in Tipperary today.

That’s because, for the second year in a row, Rachael Blackmore and her partner-in-crime Honeysuckle made light work of a stacked field and, with chants of olé olé olé ringing around the Cheltenham parade ring for a finish, they were the stars of the show once again.

There was an air of inevitability about the whole thing as, with the front-runners coming back to the pack, Honeysuckle and Blackmore loomed large on the outside. You thought for a second that Epatante or Appreciate were looking good but, just as she’s done in each of her 15 runs on a racetrack, Kenny Alexander’s mare found that something extra.

It really is a tremendous story, for Blackmore, for trainer Henry De Bromhead and for Alexander and after the race, with the parade ring high with excitement, Blackmore’s mother summed it all up brilliantly.

“I can’t believe it. Thanks to everybody here for making it so special,” she said on Virgin Media Sport.

“I was nervous, I’m always nervous but I’m getting better and I’m working very hard on it! The mare is just fantastic. Henry has done such a good job with her and I just feel really lucky to be part of the fairytale. This is fairytale stuff. The support and good-will she’s got from everyone has been fantastic and it just shows if you have a dream, you can make it come through.

“I’m very proud that she’s given people something to cheer about at a time when there’s a lot of unhappiness in the world,” she continued.

Not too far away, with typical modesty, Eimir’s daughter was praising everyone apart from herself for the win.

“It’s just incredible. It’s such a special place and I’m so lucky to be riding this mare,” she said.

“She kind of decides in a race when she’s happy to go. It’s brilliant.”

But Ruby Walsh knows how good Blackmore is and, as one of the best jockeys ever, he recognised the bravery and the confidence she showed in that race.

“They are some pair. It was brave riding. She rode Honeysuckle to win, she didn’t ride her not to lose. She took chances, she was brave and it was brilliant to watch. Ten out of ten Rachael Blackmore.”

“It’s the reception she deserves. They are a pair of superstars and this is amazing to watch.”

Elsewhere, it was a tough day for the Irish though one big win papers over many cracks and we certainly got that with Blackmore and Honeysuckle. Mark Walsh too, kept the Irish flag flying when he gave Brazil a tremendous ride to win the mares’ for Padraig Roche.