2021 Cheltenham Festival tips – Are these Rachael Blackmore’s best Festival chances of a winner?

Rachael Blackmore Cheltenham Festival rides. The Irish rider has some big chances of a winner.Rachael Blackmore Cheltenham Festival rides. The Irish rider has some big chances of a winner.

Rachael Blackmore best Cheltenham Festival rides

Irish jockey Rachael Blackmore is one one the leading riders who is expected to get amongst the winners again come the Cheltenham Festival having already enjoyed plenty of success at the greatest show on earth. We’ve looked over some of the top rider’s possible mounts and pick out five Rachael Blackmore Cheltenham Festival rides that we expect to go close.

Along with Paul Townend, Jack Kennedy and Davy Russell it is fair to assume that Rachael Blackmore can be considered amongst the elite tier amongst Irish jumps jockeys and the talents of the Killenaule-born rider have earned her the role of stable jockey to top Irish handler Henry de Bromhead for whom she’ll have a few plum rides come the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.

Since turning professional in 2015 Blackmore has steadily climbed the ranks, notching up numerous big race successes in Ireland before bagging a first Cheltenham Festival winner in 2019 with A Plus Tard; she doubled that tally 24 hours later with Minella Indo in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle and added a third Cheltenham success by steering Honeysuckle to victory in the Mares’ Hurdle.

Henry de Bromhead will undoubtedly send a strong team over to Cheltenham where Blackmore will have a number of top mounts in the big races although her book of rides could yet get even better depending on decisions made by Cheveley Park Stud regarding the horses that have moved from Gordon Elliott to Henry De Bromhead. Assuming Jack Kennedy retains the rides on Envoi Allen, Ballyadam and Quilixios we pick out five Rachael Blackmore Cheltenham Festival rides we expect will go very close to Festival glory.


Champion Hurdle

HONEYSUCKLE won the Mares’ Hurdle on the corresponding racecard twelve months ago on the first day of Cheltenham and the unbeaten Sulamani mare may well take in that contest again although given her demolition job of a quality field in the Irish Champion Hurdle connections are surely considering a crack at the day one feature instead as a viable target.

Her winning run now stands at a perfect ten following that Leopardstown success and she’s registered every one under Rachael Blackmore. It’s little wonder that she’s jumped to the head of the ante-post market for the Champion Hurdle where she’ll get the mares’ allowance and if lining up in the day one feature race she’s likely to prove a tough nut to crack.

Rachael Blackmore best Cheltenham Festival rides. Will Honeysuckle go to the Champion Hurdle or the Mares' Hurdle?

Rachael Blackmore best Cheltenham Festival rides. Will Honeysuckle go to the Champion Hurdle or the Mares’ Hurdle?

Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

This looks the more likely destination for BOB OLINGER who has only tasted defeat once over hurdles which came on his debut at Gowran Park when denied only by a length behind Ferny Hollow.

That rival had won the Cheltenham Festival day two closer in the Champion Bumper last campaign and Henry de Bromhead’s charge put the experience gained on that occasion to good use with back-to-back wins at Navan and Naas respectively, the latter coming in the Grade One Lawlor’s Of Naas Hurdle where he had Blue Lord well in arrears.

That form has been boosted with the runner-up running another good race in defeat at the Dublin Racing Festival and the six-year old is likely to have further improvement to come so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him firmly in the mix at the business end of this contest.

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase

This race was formerly known as the RSA Chase and in EKLAT DE RIRE Rachael Blackmore looks to hold solid claims of riding a winner on the second day of the Festival and the Saddex gelding can deliver a big performance.

A point-to-point winner formerly he won at the second attempt over hurdles, beating All About Joue at Thurles and he’s 2-2 over fences this term which include a defeat of Escaria Ten in a Naas Grade Three contest latest.

He appeared to win that comfortably and so likely has more to offer; he could improve again and while he likely needs to taking on Monkfish he can make his presence felt if taking in this contest.

Gold Cup – A Plus Tard

Blackmore could face a tough choice between two of her previous Cheltenham Festival winners in Minella Indo and A PLUS TARD assuming both pitch up in the Blue Riband although the latter might end up the one the jockey sides with on this occasion.

Minella Indo hasn’t quite been at his best in his last two starts following a brace of wins earlier in the season, falling at Leopardstown over Christmas in the Savills Chase and then beating only one home behind Kemboy in the Irish Gold Cup.

By contrast A Plus Tard has looked as good as ever this term despite suffering a shock defeat on his return at Navan; he’s since beaten Kemboy in the Savills Chase who subsequently beat Minella Indo convincingly last time.

The Kapgarde gelding gave Blackmore her first Festival win back in 2019 and the pair have combined for three of the horse’s successes although his latest came under Daragh O’Keeffee with Blackmore having elected to partner Minella Indo in the Savills Chase.

She’s unlikely to make the same mistake again and it would be no surprise come the Cheltenham Festival day four feature to be sporting the recognisable Cheveley Park Stud colours.

Rachael Blackmore best Cheltenham Festival rides. A Plus Tard could be the jockey's choice in the Gold Cup.

Rachael Blackmore best Cheltenham Festival rides. A Plus Tard could be the jockey’s choice in the Gold Cup.

Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase – Put The Kettle On

Arkle winners have a decent record when stepping into future seasons’ Champion Chase renewals so it wouldn’t be a shock to see 2020 Arkle winner PUT THE KETTLE ON pitching into the day two feature; however her top trainer might not fancy locking horns with Chacun Pour Soi again having been readily beaten by that rival in the Dublin Chase and the inaugral Mares’ Chase might prove a suitable alternative for the Stowaway mare.

A progressive six-time winner last term which included her surprise Cheltenham success where she struck at odds of 16/1 she’s raced twice this term with a win back at Cheltenham in the Shloer Chase prior to her latest third behind Willie Mullins’ ante-post favourite.

Although Blackmore hasn’t ridden the mare in her last few starts with a number of jockeys getting the leg up including Aidan Coleman who steered the mare to her three successive wins at Cheltenham it may well be that Blackmore gets the leg up in the Cheltenham Festival finale with the pair having combined for two wins albeit they came over hurdles.