It speaks volumes for what jockey Rachael Blackmore accomplished at Cheltenham last month, that she is now just under a quarter to become RTE’s Irish Sports Personality of the Year 2021.
A Another loud cry for her in-game status came a few days ago from a representative for a major bookmaker, a man not known for being very frightened.
« We’re waiting to see what Rachael is up to at the Grand National « he said, » whatever it is, the price will be smashed. «
His words said it all. In the one race of the year where everyone has a bet while some use a pin, others a horse’s name or its gray color, or the colors of the silk the jockey will wear, the bookies were afraid the sorority would be behind Rachael stand and cause a bloodbath for bookmakers’ profits when it comes to what is by far the biggest race of the year.
Now we know what Rachael is riding. It is Minella Times from the stable of her greatest patron, Henry de Bromhead. The horse is already only 10/1 with Paddy Power – expect it to be 8/1 or 7/1 on Saturday lunchtime, when the euros, fives, tens and scores have rolled onto Rachael just like the horse.
If it wins, Rachael won that RTE award, that’s it. If it loses, it’s still a good bet to triumph, even in a year when one of our boxers, cyclists, golfers, rowers or show jumpers or an entire ice hockey team amaze us all in Tokyo at the belated Olympics Could.
Regardless of the hockey, ironically, two of the athletes Rachael might mess around with are female too. Imagine a podium for RTE Sports Personality of the Year with 1-2-3 in order of jockey Rachael Blackmore, boxer Kellie Harrington, and rower Sanita Puspure. It could happen.
Rachael has never really tried this in public, but she doesn’t like being called a jockey. She is a jockey. Rachael rode a horse to win the champion hurdle. She was a top jockey in Cheltenham. Paul Townend’s unfortunate injury at Fairyhouse last Sunday means she may be crowned Irish Champion Jumps Jockey when the season ends May 1st.
However, if she piloted the Minella Times to the Grand National win, Killenaule’s pride is moving into an entirely new zone of achievement and public recognition in County Tipperary. Don’t bet against them.
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