Rachael Blackmore shares her thoughts on Queen Mother Champion Chase prospect Captain Guinness and Minella Indo, as well as her four other rides on Day Two of Cheltenham Festival

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 £195,000 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 Wednesday 

2.10 – Monty’s Star

I am really looking forward to riding Monty’s Star in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase on Wednesday.

Rachael Blackmore won the Festival's opener with Henry de Bromhead's Slade Steel

Rachael Blackmore won the Festival’s opener with Henry de Bromhead’s Slade Steel

The ex-Grand National winner is looking to be named leading jockey after her success in 2021

The ex-Grand National winner is looking to be named leading jockey after her success in 2021

He was good in winning his beginners’ chase on New Year’s Eve at Punchestown. His jumping was very good, and that will be a big asset here. He’s bred for it too, he’s a half-brother to Monalee, who finished second in this race in 2018.

It’s a small enough field this year, but it’s still a very good race. Fact To File looked good at Leopardstown last time and his times were impressive. Stay Away Fay is last year’s Albert Bartlett Hurdle winner, and he ran really well in the Cotswold Chase last time. But we couldn’t be happier with our lad, he travelled over well and hopefully he can go one better than his brother did.

2.50 – Ballyadam

Ballyadam always puts up a good performance, and I hope that he can put up another one here in the Coral Cup.

He has run four times at Cheltenham, and he has never been out of the first five. He went back over fences during the summer, he won his beginners’ chase at Wexford in July and, after a short break, he ran well last time in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown over almost three miles on heavy ground. 

Back in trip here and back on better ground, hopefully he can run another good race.

3.30 – Captain Guinness

Captain Guinness has been in really good order at home. He had a heart issue at Christmas, so he was disappointing there, but he ran much better at the Dublin Racing Festival when he finished third behind El Fabiolo.

He was great in winning the Fortria Chase on his debut this season. I think that that was one of the best run of his career to date, and I think that he is back to that sort of form again now.

The former Gold Cup winner thinks Captain Guinness is in the midst of a career-best run

The former Gold Cup winner thinks Captain Guinness is in the midst of a career-best run

He was second in the Champion Chase last year, he was well beaten by the winner Energumene, but he ran well to finish second. He’s probably a horse that people have forgotten about a little bit, because of his below par run at Leopardstown at Christmas, but there was a reason for that, and I think that he can run a big race here.

4.10 – Minella Indo

Minella Indo ran really well in the cross-country race at Cheltenham in December. That was a handicap, and he was giving weight away to all his rivals, but he took to the fences really well and he put up a really good performance.

I can’t wait to ride him over the course again now. This is not a handicap, so he doesn’t have to give weight away. He’s a Gold Cup winner and he loves Cheltenham. He has run at the Festival five times, he has won twice and he has finished second twice.

This is a really good renewal of the Cross-Country Chase, and he doesn’t have as much experience over the course as some of his rivals do, but he jumped the obstacles great the last day, and I hope that he can run another big race.

She's looking forward to taking on the Cross Country chase with Minella Indo (above in 2019)

She’s looking forward to taking on the Cross Country chase with Minella Indo (above in 2019)

4.50 – Dancing On My Own

Dancing On My Own has to carry a lot of weight in the Grand Annual, but his achievements warrant a big weight.

He obviously likes it at Cheltenham, he was very good in winning there in October, and he has been in good order at home. This is going to be a competitive race, the Grand Annual always is, and soft ground wouldn’t be ideal, so hopefully it will dry out a little before the second last race on Wednesday, and hopefully he can run well.

5.30 – Junta Marvel

I have picked up the ride on Junta Marvel in the Champion Bumper for Willie Mullins. Willie has plenty of runners in the race, but they all go there with chances and it’s great to pick up a ride for him here.

Junta Marvel is a Masked Marvel mare who won her two bumpers last spring, one on yielding ground and one on soft ground, so she shouldn’t have an issue with the ground. She beat Bioluminescence on her debut, which was a good performance, Bioluminescence won a Grade 3 mares’ novice hurdle at Limerick there on Sunday. I’m looking forward to riding her.

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