Rachael Blackmore provides the inside track on her three rides – including Gold Cup hopeful Jungle Boogie – this Cheltenham Friday

  • Former Gold Cup winner will look to repeat 2022 success with Jungle Boogie 
  • Blackmore has won two Grade Ones at the Festival, including Champion Chase 
  • 2021 Grand National winner will also ride Highwind and Chigorin on Friday 

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 £205,000 and is expected to reach £250,000 by Grand National Day, Saturday 13th April, when the fund will draw to a close.

Cheltenham is such a special place that Betfair will double its £5,000 donation to £10,000 for every winner Rachael rides at the Festival.

Cheltenham Friday

1.30 – Highwind

I’m delighted to have picked up the ride on Highwind for Willie Mullins in the Triumph Hurdle.

Rachael Blackmore is pictured speaking with trainer Henry de Bromhead

Rachael Blackmore is pictured speaking with trainer Henry de Bromhead

I rode him in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival, and he has plenty of ground to make up on some of his rivals here from that, but he travelled well until the run to the second last flight, where he made a mistake.

A winner on the flat in France, he won well at Punchestown on his first run in Ireland, he did well to keep on again after he made a mistake at the final flight, and I hope that he can go well here.

2.50 – Chigorin

I’m looking forward to riding Chigorin too in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle.

He shaped well on his first run for Henry in a maiden hurdle at Naas behind Mahon’s Way, and he improved on that last time when he stepped up to two miles and seven furlongs and won his maiden at Fairyhouse.

He’s in great order at home, he is progressive and he stays well, so the slight step up again in trip should suit him well.

3.30 – Jungle Boogie

It looks like a really good Gold Cup, but Jungle Boogie deserves to take his chance in it.

The former Gold Cup winner has already claimed two Grade One races at this year's Festival, including Wednesday's Champion Chase

The former Gold Cup winner has already claimed two Grade One races at this year’s Festival, including Wednesday’s Champion Chase

He ran well for a long way in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork in December on his first run for Henry. That two-mile trip was shorter than ideal for him, but he stuck to his task well to finish fourth behind El Fabiolo.

He showed a great attitude last time at Tramore on New Year’s Day in the Savills Chase over two miles and seven furlongs, he rallied well after he was headed by Classic Getaway to get back up and win by a length.

He is 10 years old now, but he is very lightly raced, he has raced just five times under all codes. He has been in good form at home, the soft ground will suit him and I hope that he can run a big race.

Source link