Talking Horses 2021 Review: Brilliant Blackmore shines in the year of the scandals | Horse racing – nach Welt

ONEs most recently in 2005, less than a year after saddling his fourth Grand National winner, the late trainer Ginger McCain, famous for Red Rum, made the confident prediction that a female jockey would never win the world’s most famous steeplechase.

At this point, it had been a decade since a woman had competed and only two of the 15 female jockeys who had ridden in the national made it to finish.

Sixteen years later when Rachael Blackmore crossed the finish line at Aintree in the April Minella Times, a milestone for the sport, came as no surprise at the same time. That says a little about how quickly attitudes can change, and a lot about Blackmore’s extraordinary talent for steering half-barrel obstacle runners as quickly and efficiently as possible over the most demanding courses of jumping.

The Minella Times ride was Blackmore’s textbook: perfectly positioned off-screen, gentle on the ground and in contact with the leash, and got a great response from her horse when he first jumped the one-of-a-kind Aintree fences. By the time Blackmore took the lead it was already a matter of not if but how far.

Blackmore never really got into glass ceilings or breakthroughs, preferring to be seen as a jump jockey who happens to be female. After their greatest triumph in April, it was just like before at the Cheltenham Festival three weeks earlier having six winners, including Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle on the opening afternoon, meant she won the meeting’s lead rider award for the first time.

Blackmore finished week one behind Ruby Walsh’s record at a festival and got just under a half of that in the Gold Cup when her mount A Plus Tard finished second behind Minella Indo in a 1-2 for her, head coach Henry de Bromhead.

De Bromhead saddled six winners over the course of the week, including a unique triple in the “Holy Trinity” of feature events: the Champion Hurdle, the Champion Chase and the Gold Cup.

That he was still beaten for the best coaching award by Willie Mullins tells the story of an unprecedented week for Irish racing with 23 of the 28 winners. The memory of the British jumping is still raw ahead of a 2022 festival when similar humiliation would be unthinkable.

It was a festival that helped Irish show jumping – and the sport at large – leave a shocking February scandal behind. when a photo showed up on social media shows Gordon Elliott, one of the country’s leading trainers, galloping on a dead horse.

Trainer Gordon Elliott was banned for six months after a picture of him riding a dead horse was posted on social media in February. Foto: Niall Carson/PA Images

If Blackmore’s win at Aintree was the defining image of 2021 on the racetrack, then the Elliott photo was the lasting image off-track. In early March he was banned from the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board for six months, thereby losing several stable stars to competing trainers.

In July, he split from Simon Munir and Isaac Souede after a panoramic investigation revealed that their popular hunter, Vyta Du Roc, previously trained by Elliott, had ended his days at a UK slaughterhouse.

Cheltenham and Aintree, like every big meeting over the hill and on the flat before mid-May, played almost silently in front of empty grandstands. Crowds were still tightly restricted in June when 4,000 viewers watched Adayar Charlie Appleby perform his second derby winner in four seasons at the beginning of a long and successful summer that would ultimately lead to Appleby being crowned master coach on the flat for the first time.

Adayar and Hurricane Lane, Appleby’s St. Leger winners, are expected to stay in training to lead his title defense next year.

Also at Royal Ascot a few weeks later it was 4,000 a day, with the Queen among the spectators on the last day to announce a relaxation of restrictions and a return to full crowd in mid-July.

Oisin Murphy was the top driver at the Royal Meeting for the first time with five winners and fought with William Buick for the flat jockeys championship and took the title for the third time in a row.

However, Murphy had widely reported off-track problems including a riot at a Newmarket pub and two positive alcohol tests in May and September.

Britain’s best flat jockey gave up his license last week to address its alcohol problems, has admitted misleading the UK Horse Racing Authority in September 2020 for violating Covid protocols, and faces a disciplinary hearing in the New Year that could result in a substantial ban.

Alcohol was raised in Kempton in the fall of 2016 as a potential driver out of the country Freddie Tylicki is handcuffed to a wheelchairwhen Jim Crowley told a court that it was “quite common” to smell alcohol on Graham Gibbons’ breath in the weighing room. He also said that he didn’t think Gibbons was under the influence. The verdict in the case in which Gibbons denies responsibility for the fall is imminent.

These are also the full written reasons for a three-person disciplinary body to discover earlier this month that Robbie Dunne subjected fellow jockey, Bryony Frost, to a seven-month bullying and intimidation campaign last year.

Dunne then has seven days to consider an appeal against his 18-month banbut frost, who has spoken being isolated from her Libra colleagues after filing her complaint, hoping they can quickly move past the toughest period of their careers, perhaps with a second win over Frodon in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day on her résumé.

Frodon is 5-1 third favorite for Sunday’s race while Blackmore is likely to ride second favorite Minella Indo. What, you wonder, would Ginger McCain think of that?

Talking Horses on Monday will return on January 10th

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