Nina Carberry is not in the least bit surprised by the performance of Rachael Blackmore at Cheltenham, as the Tipperary jockey targets Gold Cup glory.

Blackmore is already on course to be the champion jockey at the festival, having become the first female rider to win the Champion Hurdle when steering Honeysuckle to glory on Tuesday

With two more victories on both Wednesday and Thursday, Blackmore has five wins under her belt, two clear of Jack Kennedy. 

The Tipperary rider is aboard A Plus Tard in today's feature race and for Blackmore, it represents a genuine chance to become the first women to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. 

While her success may feel sudden to those not paying attention, Carberry believes that Blackmore's rise to prominence is just a matter of hard work and talent. 

Speaking on Morning she said: "The dedication that she has to the sport is incredible and now she’s getting the chances we really see what she can do. 

"Obviously when you get put up on those horses you hope you’re going to do your best – she's definitely done that and above this week. 

"She’s had three or four falls as well so she’s able to pick herself up off the ground and put that behind her, and go again so it’s actually incredible to watch. 

"I’m so delighted for her. 

"I’ve always thought that if you’re tactically good enough you’re able to ride races. If you’re able to take the falls, which Rachel is, then touch wood she keeps injury free. 

"If you’re on the best horse then you have to be tactically good, it doesn’t matter how strong you are." 


British racing commentator Rupert Bell agrees with Carberry’s assessment and claimed that Blackmore’s Cheltenham success is making the racing public in Britain sit up and pay attention. 

"We’ve known that she’s good but she’s just confirmed it to the British racing public. 

"The over-riding impression if that, yes she’s on the best horses, but tactically she’s so astute and you can see it. 

"She can make the right decision and when you’ve got two greats of the game, AP McCoy and Ruby Walsh saying that there’s no-one riding better than her, then you have to agree with them because they know more about it than anybody. 

"Yes she’s had those bone-crunching falls and she’s been as tough as they come but what is really highlighted is her supreme confidence."