Rachael Blackmore makes history again at Cheltenham Festival as first female to secure coveted top jockeys’ award

  • Video report by ITV News Senior Correspondent Paul Davies

Rachael Blackmore has triumphed at the Cheltenham Festival as she becomes the first woman to secure the coveted top jockeys’ award.

On Friday, the jockey struck an exceptional sixth victory of the week at the Cheltenham Festival in the JCB Triumph Hurdle.

Six wins - including a history-making victory aboard Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday - have seen the 31-year-old rocket to the summit of the sport, earning plaudits from the likes of Sir Anthony McCoy and Ruby Walsh.

Her final afternoon started in a similar vein to the previous three days, as she steered the Henry de Bromhead-trained Quilixios to victory in the JCB Triumph Hurdle.

Quilixios ridden by Rachael Blackmore (left) jumps the last fence on their way to winning the JCB Triumph Hurdle. Credit: PA

Trained by Henry de Bromhead, who is also enjoying an excellent week in the Cotswolds, Quilixios (2-1) was prominent throughout, settling on the heels of the pace-setting Talking About You before moving to the front two flights from home.

Adagio, representing the home team for David Pipe, tried his best to reel in Quilixios up the hill, but Blackmore’s mount galloped all the way to the line, with 20-1 shot Haut En Couleurs in third.

Favourite Zanahiyr and leading British hope Tritonic both failed to sparkle in the Grade One heat.

Quilixios - a recent transfer to the De Bromhead yard having previously been trained by the suspended Gordon Elliott - was given a quote of 12-1 for next year's Champion Hurdle with Betfair.

Rachael Blackmore paid tribute to the horse’s former team before adding that he's a "smashing horse".

Ms Blackmore told ITV Racing: "It’s incredible. Henry’s only had this horse a short time, so all the work went into him at Cullentra stables, so it’s thanks to their work, really.

"Henry just had to get him here on the boat, so big thanks to all them. He’s a smashing horse. And thanks to Cheveley Park for putting me up, it’s brilliant."

Blackmore admitted her parents are thoroughly enjoying her exploits at home in Ireland.

She added: "They’re getting a great kick out of it, so it’s brilliant. I know they’d have loved to have been here today, like a lot of people.

"I’m just happy I’m here and these horses are here."