It was never the plan to be a professional jockey, says Rachael Blackmore at the start of a big Cheltenham week

Blackmore was a winner at Cheltenham last year (PA Images)
Blackmore was a winner at Cheltenham last year (PA Images)
11:14am, Tue 10 Mar 2020
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Rachael Blackmore has revealed that it was never her ambition to be a professional jockey

Blackmore is in the running to be leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival this week and if she does she will become the first woman to do so.

“Being a professional jockey wasn’t what I wanted to be. 100 per cent I wanted to ride winners as an amateur jockey," she said.

“That was the dream but it has gone to a whole new level. When I turned professional I was not full of confidence. I had nothing to lose but I was tip-toeing in.

“A couple of people were saying ‘I don’t know if you’re doing the right thing', because it is strange for someone who was extremely average as an amateur to turn professional. It’s not the usual course to take. I suppose when a couple of people were negative it did make me want to prove them wrong," Blackmore told The Telegraph.

If Blackmore does ride the most winners this week, she will not be viewing herself as a pioneer for women.

“I probably find it a little tiresome within the small racing bubble because I don’t think it should be a thing anymore,” she said.

“I fully get why it’s a thing outside the bubble because it is a male-dominated sport. But at the end of the day it’s the horses doing the running – we are just on their backs doing the steering. It would be a lot different if some female sprinter was beating Usain Bolt."

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