Rachael Blackmore Voted Most Iconic Gold Cup Winner

On Cheltenham: Rachael Blackmore voted Most Iconic Gold Cup Winner as race celebrates 100 years  

Rachael Blackmore has made history in 2022 becoming the first female jockey to win the Gold Cup, now she’s been voted the most iconic in its 100-year history.

Blackmore’s win on A Plus Tard beat the likes of Arkle, Desert Orchid, Kauto Star, Sizing John and Denman in a survey by Betfair.

The survey also found the Gold Cup is as popular as ever with nine in 10 sports fans set to tune in on Friday.

A win in the race this year will see her raise even more money for the Serial Winners Fund, an initiative which raises money for the Injured Jockeys Fund and Irish Injured Jockeys.   

The SWF, which currently stands at £180,000, sees £5,000 donated every time Rachael rides a winner, but Betfair have announced that they will double that to £10,000 for any winner she has next week.

To celebrate 100 years of the Gold Cup, Betfair have produced a short film with Rachael Blackmore, Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh, who have all won the famous race.

Download Betfair’s short film: Icons of the Gold Cup here 

Rachael Blackmore’s Gold Cup win aboard A Plus Tard in 2022 has been voted the most iconic in its 100-year history according to a Betfair poll of more than 1,000 sports fans.   

Blackmore’s win two years ago saw her become the first female jockey to ever win the prestigious race and followed her history-making win in the Grand National the previous year.  

Top female jockey Rachael Blackmore looking forward to the Gold Cup race at Cheltenham.

The research, in partnership with YouGOV, crowned the trailblazer and A Plus Tard the most iconic ahead of a whole host of other legendary winners, including Arkle, Desert Orchid, Kauto Star and Denman.  

Back in November, Betfair and Blackmore launched the fund at Haydock Park for the Betfair Chase with an initial £100,000 donation.  

Throughout the season, £5,000 is added to the fund by Betfair any time Blackmore rides a winner up to Grand National Day, and since the launch, a further £80,000 has been donated, taking the total so far up to £180,000.  

Over the last five years, Rachael Blackmore has ridden an average of 30 winners during this periodand it’s anticipated the pot could increase up to £250,000 come Grand National Day.  

Proceeds will be shared evenly between two charities that make a major difference to the lives of jockeys in both the UK and Ireland, the ‘Injured Jockeys Fund’ and ‘Irish Injured Jockeys’.  

For this week’s Cheltenham Festival, Betfair have announced they will double the £5,000 donation to £10,000 any time Blackmore rides a winner, after Blackmore urged the bookies to do so on last week’s preview show.  

On the prospect of raising even more money, Blackmore said: “During the preview I called on Betfair to raise their game for Cheltenham and double the amount donated to the Serial Winner Fund if I’m lucky enough to get into the winner’s enclosure.   

“I may have caught them slightly off guard, but I knew they would get on board, and we got the thumbs up. I’m fully focused on next week and looking forward to getting over there now.”  

The Cheltenham Festival is touted by many as the ‘greatest show on turf,’ with the pinnacle of the week being the Gold Cup on Friday.   

In Betfair’s short film, history maker Blackmore appears alongside Champion trainer and four-time Gold Cup winner Paul Nicholls, and fellow Gold Cup winning jockey Ruby Walsh to share their memories and love of the famous race.  

This year the Gold Cup celebrates 100 years of history, and it is as popular as ever, with nine in 10 (91%) sports fans saying they will be watching the race at 3:30pm on Friday, and some Brits won’t even let work get in the way, with 16% of those polled admitting to skiving off to watch sport in the past.  

Watching sport during working hours seems to be a recent trend, with 57% of sports fans polled who admitted to skiving off work revealing that they have done so on at least one occasion in the past 12 months.   

In fact, almost three quarters of sports fans said they plan to watch the Gold Cup at home, with 9% planning a trip to the pub, while 7% say they will be tuning in at work.  

Betfair Ambassador and Champion trainer Paul Nicholls recalls how he caught the racing bug watching the March spectacle and said: “My earliest memory of the Gold Cup was actually watching it with my grandad. He was a racing nut.   

“I used to go around there and just watch racing with him, but he always used to say ‘you’ve got to make sure you watch the Gold Cup.’ So, I always used to watch it with him, which really got me hooked on racing.”  

Rachael Blackmore won the Gold Cup in 2022, but she recalls the days when she would be listening to the Cheltenham commentary over her teachers.   

“I remember listening to it in school while in class, I had an earpiece and I had my hair down so it was hidden and I would listen to the racing at Cheltenham all week,” she explained.  

“For the Gold Cup I remember going down to my aunt’s house which was only two minutes away from our secondary school.”  

There’s no doubt that many will be watching this year’s special edition of the famous steeplechase, which is celebrating 100-years of history.  

Speaking about the Gold Cup in the film, Betfair Ambassador Rachael Blackmore said: “The Gold Cup is just such a special race. It’s one as a jockey that you’d love to ride in someday and to be able to say you’ve won it is just incredibly special.  

“There’s been 100 years of Gold Cup history, and I’d love to make some more.”  

While Rachael Blackmore and A Plus Tard were voted as the most iconic winners of the Gold Cup, a number of other legends were highlighted by sports fans, including Paul Nicholl’s winners, Kauto Star and Denman, who famously went head-to-head in the 2008 and 2009 edition of the race.  

“It was so special to train both Kauto Star and Denman for the races when they took each other on,” said Nicholls.  

“When Kauto won the first one in 2007, he was absolutely imperious that day. He had an amazing season, he’d won a King George, he’d won a Tingle Creek and then he won the Gold Cup. That was a very special day.  

Gold Cup winning jockey on Kauto Star, Ruby Walsh said: “The Gold Cup was always on a pedestal in our house.  

“I think horse racing was lucky to have the rivalry between Denman and Kauto Star, when you look at the publicity it drove. Everyone was asking would Kauto stay, wouldn’t he stay, huge fields, there were so many unknowns.  

“When you have an association with an incredible horse like Kauto Star, you’re almost as thrilled for him when he was able to regain the Gold Cup. To go back and win a second one, to make himself, I guess that’s a little bit different.”   

Top five most iconic Gold Cup winners according to UK sports fans  
1  Rachael Blackmore, 2022 (became first ever female jockey to win Gold Cup on A Plus Tard)  
2  Arkle, 1966 (his third consecutive Gold Cup victory, winning by 30 lengths)  
3  Desert Orchid, 1989 (overcame tricky racing conditions to win)  
4  Kauto Star, 2007 (became the first and only horse to date to win the Stayers’ Chase Triple Crown)  
5  Sizing John, 2017 (the same season he also won the Irish Gold Cup and Punchestown Gold Cup)  
Will you be watching this year’s Cheltenham Festival?  
Yes  39%  
No  50%  
Don’t know  11%  
Will you be watching this year’s Gold Cup?  
Yes  91%  
No  4%  
Don’t know  4%  
Where will you be watching the Gold Cup?  
At home  74%  
In the pub  9%  
At Cheltenham Racecourse  7%  
At work  7%  
Don’t Know  2%  
Have you ever skived off work to watch sport?  
Yes  16%  
No  82%  
Don’t know  2%  
A Betfair survet to find the 5 top most iconic Gold Cup winners.

(Article by Betfairhttps://www.betfair.com/betting/horse-racing/s-7)