Incredible photos show rise of Rachael Blackmore from ponies to historic Grand National hero

THE remarkable rise of Rachael Blackmore reached new heights at Aintree on Saturday.

The 31-year-old rode into the record books when she became the first female to ride the winner of the Grand National.

Minella Times may have provided her biggest ever win, and one of racing's greatest moments, but it all started from humble beginnings.

A daughter of a Tipperary teacher and dairy farmer, a picture of Blackmore on a rocking horse has since gone viral.

And her new army of fans have posted their own versions of their youngsters watching the Aintree race.

Blackmore has risen to the top in recent seasons since partnering with trainer-of-the-moment Henry De Bromhead.

But her success didn't happen overnight. In her first six seasons as a jockey she only managed 12 winners.

Her housemate and top-rider Patrick Mullins once revealed Blackmore would bake at home while he went out to ride.

It makes her recent achievements even more special, but it's been no surprise to those who follow the sport closely.

She was top rider at the recent Cheltenham Festival, thanks to six winners, and showed on the big stage she is simply as good as it gets.


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Eimir, a Tipperary teacher and Blackmore’s mum, has also spoken of her delight and she joked those lucky enough to be at Aintree probably heard her screaming.

She said: “I’m normally a bit of a chicken when it comes to watching the Grand National, but I was very proud of myself because I managed to watch the whole thing.

“I could see her hat and I was watching that going round. After the last I thought she could probably do this.

“So there was a bit of shouting in Tipperary and I’m sure you heard us where you were! People always say things are unreal, this actually is.”


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Minella Times' success was racing magnate and owner JP McManus’s second win in the big race after Don’t Push It’s famous 2010 victory.

His racing manager Frank Berry also heaped the praise on the brilliant Blackmore.

Berry said: “It was a fantastic day and a great performance by Rachael and Minella Times.

"I'm thrilled for JP and the whole family. It was a special occasion, with Rachael riding the winner – it's a bit of history.

"Rachael has done it the hard way. She came from the bottom up and has worked really hard. It's great to see her getting on good horses now and she's delivering the goods."


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