Rachael Blackmore returns to saddle at Galway on Saturday

Thu 21 Oct 2021

Grand National victor Rachael Blackmore will return from her injury layoff with one ride at Galway on Saturday, live on Racing TV.

The Irish rider enjoyed a landmark campaign last season, becoming the first female to take the top jockey title at the Cheltenham Festival, where her six-winner haul included no less than five Grade Ones with Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle the highlight.

Blackmore then raised the bar again as she steered Minella Times to a six-and-a-half-length verdict in the National at Aintree, with her feat as the first female rider to take the world’s most famous steeplechase making her front-page news.

She also finished second to Paul Townend in the Irish jockeys’ championship again, but her current season was derailed when she sustained a fractured ankle and picked up a hip injury at Killarney on July 16.

Blackmore will make her comeback at Galway this weekend, with Henry de Bromhead giving her the leg up on Balko Des Flos – the horse she beat into second in the National – in the W.B. Gavin & Co. Handicap Hurdle.

"I’m very happy to say that I’ll be back riding this Saturday at Galway," Blackmore said in her BetVictor blog.

"I’ve been on the sidelines for just over three months now, but my recovery has gone very well. I’m feeling good and ready to get back. I feel very lucky that surgeons John Rice and Adeel Memon were on hand after my fall and did a fantastic job mending me back together!

"Since then, I’ve been doing physio in Santry with Enda King and working on my fitness with JP Tracey at Patric Fitness. They’ve both been so helpful.

Discussing her ride aboard Balko Des Flos in the W.B. Gavin & Co. Handicap Hurdle (3.37pm), she said: "I’m looking forward to riding him, and hopefully, we can get his season off to a good start."

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