Blackmore 1st female jockey to win Cheltenham Gold Cup

CHELTENHAM, England (AP) — Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup when she rode A Plus Tard to victory on Friday.

A Plus Tard, a 3-1 favorite, stormed up the hill for a comfortable victory as the pair avenged last year’s second-place finish behind fellow Henry de Bromhead-trained runner Minella Indo.

Minella Indo led by about three lengths at the penultimate fence but A Plus Tard closed the gap and took the lead on the final jump before winning by 15 lengths.

Alex Ferguson-owned Protektorat nosed out Galvin for third, about two lengths behind Minella Indo.

Last season, the 32-year-old Blackmore became the first woman to win the Champion Hurdle and Grand National.

“I’ve had so many special days. I wouldn’t swap the Grand National for anything but this is the Gold Cup,” the Irish jockey told ITV Racing. “I wish I had something better to say right now. I just can’t.

“You have all these plans about how things are going to work out,” Blackmore continued. “Racing doesn’t let that happen all the time and for some reason it’s happened to me today. I just can’t explain how lucky I feel.”

Being attached to De Bromhead’s stable “is just absolutely phenomenal,” she said.

“To give me this horse is unbelievable,” Blackmore said. “I don’t know what to say.”

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