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Rachael Blackmore pictured above created history over the weekend by becoming the first woman to win the Grand National Rachael Blackmore pictured above created history over the weekend by becoming the first woman to win the Grand National

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UL graduate Rachael Blackmore becomes first woman to win the Grand National

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Rachael Blackmore pictured above created history over the weekend by becoming the first woman to win the Grand National

UL graduate Rachael Blackmore becomes first woman to win the Grand National

By I Love Limerick correspondent Peter Cooney

JP McManus

JP McManus owner of winner Minella Times

University of Limerick graduate Rachael Blackmore created history over the weekend by becoming the first woman to win the Grand National with JP McManus owned Minella Times.

The UL graduate who previously studied equine science rode JP McManus’ Minella Times to victory at odds of 11-1 at Randox Aintree Grand National on Saturday.

Blackmore also became the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle and to finish second in the Gold Cup.

This was JP McManus second success in the Grand National, following Don’t Push It’s success in 2010, who also filled the third spot with Any Second Now.

McManus winner Minella Times is an eight-year-old gelding who began it’s season with a victory at Listowel before two find second place finishes in highly-competitive handicap chases at Leopardstown in December and February.

The 31-year-old spoke to BBC Radio 4 after her sensational win saying, “I’ve re-watched it a few times, and I didn’t sleep at all on Saturday night – that’s the kind of high you are on. For me, in racing, the gender thing was never an issue – and I’ve just carried that forward. There’s no taking away from the fact that it wasn’t that long ago people were saying women shouldn’t ride in the National – but personally it’s never been an experience I’ve had, and it should be something that racing is very proud of. The one thing that you learn very quickly (in racing) is that you lose a lot more than you win.” 

“You’ll have falls, disappointments and you are living for the days when it does work out – days like Saturday. It erases all the other days very quickly. Racing keeps you grounded – it doesn’t let you get carried away. You might have ridden a winner, but then in the next race you get unseated at the first, so racing never lets you get carried away,” she added. 

Speaking about JP McManus, Rachael commented, “It’s great to win it in these colours, too. It’s always a privilege to ride for JP McManus and to win it for him is unbelievable. They’ve had a tough year so hopefully this can make things a little easier.”

For more information on Rachael Blackmore go HERE 

For more stories on JP McManus go HERE

 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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