Betfair launched its one-of-a-kind charity initiative, the ‘Rachael Blackmore – Serial Winners Fund’, to benefit both the ‘Injured Jockey Fund’ and the ‘Irish Injured Jockeys’ on Betfair Chase Day last November.
They kicked-off the fund with an initial £100,000 donation and add a further £5,000 every time Rachael Blackmore rides a winner.
The fund currently stands at £150,000 and is expected to reach £250,000 by Grand National Day, Saturday 13th April, when the fund will draw to a close.
It’s been a quiet week for Betfair Ambassador Rachael Blackmore but she did manage to add £5,000 to the ‘Rachael Blackmore Serial Winners Fund’ with a winner in Naas. The fund now stands at £150,000 and, despite the weather, she has some good chances over the course of the weekend.
Blackmore has three rides on Saturday – Killaney King, Benkei and Senior Chief – at Navan, as well as two more on Sunday – Envoi Allen and Easy Fella – at Thurles.
Rachael Blackmore will have five rides across the coming weekend with three on Saturday and two more on Sunday
Navan – Saturday
1.20 – Killaney King
I ride Killaney King in the two-and-a-half-mile maiden hurdle at Navan on Saturday. We were very happy with his run the last day, he was only headed by Blizzard Of Oz on the run-in, and the two of us were nicely clear of the rest.
He seems to have come out of the race well. It was his first run for us, it was his first run since he won his point-to-point for Pat Doyle over a year before, so he should come on for it.
This looks like another competitive maiden, but conditions should suit and we’re hoping that he can run a big race.
2.30 – Benkei
I ride Benkei for Harry Rogers in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle. He is 14 now, but he proved at Down Royal in November that he retains all his enthusiasm for racing. He went down by just three parts of a length to Hunting Brook, and Hunting Brook won again a few days later at Punchestown under a 7lb penalty.
He fell last time at Punchestown, but hopefully he can bounce back here. I have ridden him a few times, including at Killarney in May 2018, when he won a handicap hurdle. It will be good to get back on him again, and Harry is a great man to ride for.
3.05 – Senior Chief
We were happy with Senior Chief’s run at Punchestown last time. He was well beaten by Gaelic Warrior, but it was his first run over fences and he kept on well into third place.
This is a small enough field for a beginners’ chase, but it’s a competitive race. Sandor Clegane beat us over hurdles at Punchestown in April, but I hope that we can get closer to him here, over fences and over three miles. I think that the step up in trip will suit. We’re very happy with him at home, so hopefully he can take a nice step forward now.
Thurles – Sunday
1.35 – Envoi Allen
I’m looking forward to riding Envoi Allen in the Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase.
He ran a big race in the Champion Chase at Down Royal last time, he just didn’t come out the right side of it.
Blackmore rides Envoi Allen in the 1.35 at Thurles on Sunday in the Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase
This is obviously another high-class race, and we have to give weight away to all our rivals, but he came out of the Down Royal race very well and we’re very much looking forward to him. He’s in really good order at home. We couldn’t be happier with him.
2.45 – Easy Fella
We were very happy with Easy Fella the last day, he won well over this course and distance. He stayed on strongly to beat Mint Boy, the two of us clear, and Mint Boy came out at Fairyhouse on Saturday and was impressive in winning a competitive handicap hurdle.
This is going to be tough, High Class Hero continues to improve, but Easy Fella is in good form at home. He is a real stayer, and we’re hoping he can run well again.