BetVictor Brand Ambassador Rachael Blackmore once again was the star of the show on the opening day of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival. Rachael completed a Champion Hurdle double on heroine Honeysuckle for trainer Henry de Bromhead and after the racing, had this to say.
“It’s just incredible. This is such a special place and I’m so lucky to be riding here on this mare. She decided when she was happy to go. She’s an unbelievable mare and the team have done brilliantly. The other good news is that Tellmesomething girl is fine after her unfortunate fall, she was going very well at the time but that’s racing the main thing is that she is ok.”
We caught up with the rider as she looks forward to an exciting book of rides on day two.
Journey With Me
I start Wednesday with Journey With Me in the Ballymore. This is going to be a fantastic race. Interestingly, Sir Gerhard, one of the talking horses of the week, lines up here. But we couldn’t be happier with Journey With Me and his preparation, which has gone to plan. I hope he can follow what Bob Olinger did in this race 12 months ago for the same connections. He is a straightforward horse to ride who jumps well, which is always a big plus.
Next is the fiercely competitive Coral Cup, where I ride Champagne Gold. He will need to improve on his most recent run but has been working well at home. He has plenty of ability, and if he puts his best foot forward, he could go well.
The Champion Chase looks like another brilliant race. I ride Envoi Allen, who could’ve gone for this or the Ryanair but goes for the shorter trip. This looks seriously competitive, and Shishkin is the one to beat. That said, Envoi Allen is an extremely good horse and shouldn’t be discounted. I think he is going to run a very big race here.
Next, Poker Party heads to the Cross Country. His recent form has not been too inspiring, but he has taken to jumping these types of fences. Hopefully, he can enjoy it and bring back some of his old spark in this one.
I am delighted to have picked up a ride for Willie Mullins in the bumper on Houlanbatordechais, a winner twice in France. He goes nicely at home, so hopefully, he can run a nice race on his stable debut.