Nobody likes to see a jockey get injured. The legends that have saddled thousands of winners in the past are all too familiar with broken bones and being sidelined through injury for long periods of time.
And back in July Rachael Blackmore joined that list of jockeys when she underwent surgery following a fall at Killarney in which she sustained a fractured ankle and hip injury.
Taking the Summer to heal and recover, she had aimed to be back racing in October and true to her plan, she was. She headed to Galway on Saturday for her first race in three months and was pairing with Balko des Flos, the 2021 Grand National runner up.
It was her only race of the day and unfortunately, it was not a winner with connections having to settle for 11th spot from the 13 declared runners.
She's back in the No 1 spot. Rachael Blackmore rides her first winner since returning from injury aboard Eklat De Rire in the listed chase at Wexford. pic.twitter.com/Ogbzo7lBUX
— The Irish Field (@TheIrishField) October 25, 2021
However, it didn’t take long for the first post-injury win to come Blackmore’s way. Heading to Wexford on Monday 25th, she paired up with Eklat de Rire and was back in the winner’s circle for trainer Henry De Bromhead after another solid win on the 10/11 favourite.
After the race she said: “It is great to be back and I got a lovely horse to come back on.
“I feel good, have been riding out a few weeks now and I’m looking forward to getting going now and kicking on.”
Irish Jump Jockeys Championship
The win will help boost her chances at another shot in the Irish Jump Jockeys Championship, which she had been leading before her untimely injury.
At that point, she was on 22 winners however, being sidelined has cost her dearly and she now sits in 10th position with Darragh O’Keeffe leading the group on 39 winners.
But it’s early in the season and there are plenty more big races ahead so Blackmore will have many opportunities to climb the table and make her mark.
Success At The Jockey Club McCoy Awards
Blackmore may have a bit of a hill to climb over the next few months but she can console herself with her win at the jockey Club McCoy Awards.
Named after the legend AP McCoy and created to recognise the stars of the latest jumps season, the awards ceremony took place on October 7th with 350 guests in attendance.
Champion Hurdle heroine Honeysuckle added yet another top honour when she won ‘Horse of the Season’. Unbeaten in 12 starts under Rachael Blackmore, the honour for Honeysuckle was well deserved.
As was Blackmore’s when she won ‘Racing Ride of the Season’ for her historic Grand National success on Minella Times.
— Racing Post (@RacingPost) October 7, 2021
She said: “It still feels strange watching Aintree back now, but it’s just incredible.
“The Grand National was an incredible day and I’m very thankful.
“Cheltenham is such a special place and even when you walk through here when there’s nobody there it’s such a special place to be.
“It’ll be great to get people back and everyone who was here this year made it very special.
“There’s no denying that Cheltenham is all about the atmosphere and it will be very special to be back.”
In addition to the awards for Honeysuckle and Rachael Blackmore, JP McManus, owner of National hero Minella Times, continued his reign at the top of jumps owner rankings as he claimed his fourth Leading Owner award for four or more horses.
Will the 2021/22 season be just as fruitful for the trio again? Oly time will tell as we countdown to both the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals in 2022.