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Rachael Blackmore made history at last year’s Cheltenham Festival by becoming the first woman to land the Top Jockey gong… but the question now is, can she repeat that feat in 2022?
The County Tipperary native rode six winners on her way to claiming the Ruby Walsh Trophy including the magnificent Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle, Allaho in the Ryanair Chase and Bob Olinger in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.
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Blackmore, 32, will be chasing more success at Cheltenham Festival 2022 and is expected to boast a brilliant book of rides for top trainer Henry de Bromhead across the four-day fiesta.
The Grand National-winning jockey could enjoy a quick-fire double on the first day of the meeting as she’s set to partner Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle and Telmesomethinggirl in the Mares’ Hurdle. There could be fireworks in the Turners Novices’ Chase on Thursday if Bob Olinger faces Galopin Des Champs, while Blackmore will hope to go one better in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on last year’s runner-up A Plus Tard.
Willie Mullins is expected to send over another formidable squad of runners for the four-day fiesta so Closutton’s leading rider Paul Townend is the favourite in Paddy Power’s Cheltenham Festival Top Jockey betting market.
Townend’s book of rides could include a whole host of favourites including Allaho, Facile Vega, Galopin Des Champs, Sir Gerhard, Stattler and Vauban. Does that look like a winning squad?
Davy Russell won plenty of plaudits for his superb ride on Conflated in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup and will be eager to his Cheltenham Festival tally after missing last year’s meeting due to injury. He could land the big one as he’s set to partner Galvin in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and it could be a fab Friday as he’s also likely to ride Fil Dor in the Triumph Hurdle.
It could be Cullentra’s other top rider, Jack Kennedy, who walks away with the Ruby Walsh Trophy. The rising star rode four winners at last year’s Festival including Minella Indo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Nico de Boinville is the leading British jockey in Paddy’s betting market as Nicky Henderson’s stable boasts a number of live contenders across numerous renewals including Constitution Hill and Jonbon in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Shishkin in the Champion Chase and Champ in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle.
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