Rachael Blackmore becomes first female jockey to win Grand National

Image Source: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Irishwoman Rachael Blackmore made history by becoming the first woman to ride the winner at the Grand National as she took Minella Times to victory.

Blackmore, who also became the first female leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival that was held last month, surged ahead after the 30th and final fence.

She rode the 11-1-shot horse, trained by Henry de Bromhead, at England’s Aintree Racecourse to a victory by six-and-a-half lengths.

“I cannot believe it,” Blackmore said. “He was a sensational spin. I’m so lucky to be riding. It is unbelievable.

“He was just incredible and jumped beautifully. I tried to wait as long as I could. When I jumped the last and asked him for a bit, he was there.

“I don’t feel male or female right now, I don’t even feel human. This is just unbelievable.”

While Balko Des Flos came second, Any Second Now finished in third place.

The race, however, took place without any audience due to the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Irishwoman Katie Walsh was the closest a female jockey came to winning the Grand National when she finished third on Seabass in 2012.

The Grand National has been taking place at Aintree Racecourse, near Liverpool in England, since 1839. However, not always have female jockeys competed in the sporting event. It is only since 1975, when the Sex Discrimination Act was passed, that they have begun competing. Blackmore became only the 20th female jockey to compete in the race.

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