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Record-breaking Rachael Blackmore pleased to be back in action at Galway

Blackmore made her comeback aboard Balko Des Flos.

Rachael Blackmore (file pic).
Rachael Blackmore (file pic).
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

RACHAEL BLACKMORE WAS thrilled to be back in action at Galway, despite finishing a distant 11th aboard Balko Des Flos in the W.B. Gavin & Co. Handicap Hurdle.

The Grand National-winning rider had been off the track since July 16, when she sustained a fractured ankle and picked up a hip injury in a fall at Killarney.

Blackmore made her comeback on Saturday, teaming up with the Henry de Bromhead-trained Balko Des Flos – the horse she had beaten by six and a half lengths when recording her landmark Aintree success aboard Minella Times back in April.

The 10-year-old was making his seasonal bow and never looked like striking a meaningful blow, eventually being beaten over 71 lengths by 11-4 favourite Jiving Jerry, but Blackmore was just pleased to be back on track.

She said: “It is great to be back and I got a lovely horse to come back on.

“I feel good, have been riding out a few weeks now and I’m looking forward to getting going now and kicking on.

“He will definitely improve for the run and his future will be cross-country races and Aintree and so on, but it was lovely to start him back.

“It was good to get him going.”

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The Irish rider enjoyed a landmark campaign last season, becoming the first female to take the top jockey title at the Cheltenham Festival, where her six-winner haul included no less than five Grade Ones with Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle the highlight.

Blackmore then raised the bar again as she was the first female rider to take Grand National, while also finishing second again to Paul Townend in the Irish jockeys’ championship.

BTL 5

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