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Rachael Blackmore sets her sights on flat racing win with Royal Ascot debut

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 15/06/2021 Matt Majendie
a man riding a horse: honeysuckl3004a.jpg © PA honeysuckl3004a.jpg

There have been times this season when it seems that Rachael Blackmore can win at anything she turns her hand to.

And on Tuesday the Grand National winner and top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival will set out for victory over the flat at Royal Ascot.

The 31-year-old will ride the Emmet Mullins-trained Cape Gentleman in the Ascot Stakes at 5pm BST.

Blackmore has 11 winners on the flat in Ireland, and Mullins said he was confident of her chances of a first flat win in Britain.

He said: “Rachael is riding over two-and-a-half miles every day of the week while most of those she is riding against are probably averaging a mile. You’d like to think it is some sort of advantage.”

Blackmore has undeniably been the story of jump racing in a difficult year for the sport, in which much of the racing has been forced to take place behind closed doors.

And former champion jockey AP McCoy paid tribute. He told the BBC: “She is a great credit to herself and racing has been very lucky to have her. It went through a difficult time and she put it on the front pages.

“We talk about gender a lot in the world today but it’s about results and she is getting results. Whether I say she is great or someone else says she is great is irrelevant. Her statistics speak volumes, they are top class and she was the best jockey riding at Cheltenham.”

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