Here’s your chance to watch the latest episode of GoggleJocks as Betfair Ambassador, Rachael Blackmore joins Kevin Black and Vanessa Ryle to relive her stunning 2021 Grand National win abord Minella Times.
During the episode, Rachael talks through the twists and turns of Aintree including how she was feeling throughout the flagship race.
Luck in the Grand National
In the episode, Racheal speaks of Minella Times’ natural ability on the track, where top advice, luck and a talented horse can land you a victory in arguably, the best race in the world:
You’re trying to find a path where you have a bit of space in front of you, maybe following a horse that has been around or one that you know.
I was very happy with where I was. Katie Walsh (former jockey) told me to always try and have a half moon shape in front of you, with space. Look, it doesn’t always work out but when the space is there, you are happy to have it.
He [Minella Times] jumps and he travels so it is very easy to hold the position you want to hold. That was the dream of where I wanted to be.
You need luck in a race like this. It either falls your way or it doesn’t. I feel I had the luck the whole way round.
I was really enjoying riding him in this race and it is always more enjoyable when they jump like he does. Looking back on it now, I find a lot of enjoyment watching it. That is such a thrill for a jockey to ride a horse that jumps over those fences like he does.
Crossing the line as a Grand National winner
And on the final stretch, Rachael commented:
I am thinking that this is going really well and you’re focussed on the last fence, and getting over it. I know there are other horses there but it was not until The Elbow, I was conscious to get on the race track proper before I gave it my all.
I could hear the commentator saying I was six lengths or something in front and then, I had a brief moment – Minella Times was still galloping and if I am this far in front and the line is that close – I could get there, but you don’t let yourself believe it until you actually do get there,
When you get across the line in the Gold Cup, you feel a bit of relief. Whereas here, there was no relief, I genuinely felt like I was going to burst.
You can be on the best horse in the Grand National but you need so much in your favour to be able to win a race like this. There are 40 runners, 30 jumps, over four miles, there is so much you need to go your way to be the lucky one to get across the line first.