- ‘I don’t feel male or female right now. I don’t even feel human’
- Cheltenham Festival leading jockey claims historic victory
As she has so often over the last few weeks, Rachael Blackmore did everything right here in the Grand National, and with a generous and willing partner in Minella Times and a little racing luck to help her on her way, it was enough to secure the first ever victory by a female jockey in the world’s most famous and demanding race. “I don’t feel male or female,” she said, a few seconds after pulling up. “I don’t even feel human, I feel unbelievable.”
In all, 32 horses with female riders had gone to post for the National before, and only Katie Walsh, who finished third on Seabass in 2012, had finished in the first four. Few had lined up with as strong a chance as Blackmore aboard Minella Times, however, and she seized the opportunity with a polished, impeccable National ride, getting a position and a rhythm while saving ground towards the inside on the first circuit before joining issue towards the head of the field with over a mile still to run.