Minella Indo put up a remarkable display to win the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at 50-1 as Rachael Blackmore followed Bryony Frost into the record books with a Grade One winner over obstacles at the Cheltenham Festival.
A maiden coming into the race, Henry de Bromhead’s charge was nevertheless one of the most lightly-raced runners in the field, having run in just one bumper and two novice hurdles.
While he had shown promise on all three starts, his price seemingly reflected his chance as he had finished behind Willie Mullins’ Allaho last time out and had four lengths to make up on that rival.
But Minella Indo had clearly improved for the run, as after two miles of the three he was still pulling Blackmore’s arms out.
While there were plenty seemingly going well in behind, including the likes of favourite Commander Of Fleet, Dickie Diver and Allaho, Blackmore kicked again on the long run to the last and once she was over it the race was won.
Blackmore was celebrating a second winner of the week for De Bromhead after A Plus Tard and she missed out on a notable first by just a day after Frost’s win in the Ryanair with Frodon.
Blackmore – who is still in the race for the Irish jump jockeys’ championship – said: “I can’t believe it. I always knew he was a really nice horse and thought he was coming with a right shout, but you just don’t think it’s going to work out.
“It’s brilliant I don’t know what to say. It’s an amazing place and I’m so glad to be part of it.”