WATCH: Moment two leading horses fall as Rachael Blackmore stays on to win

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Rachael Blackmore

Rachael Blackmore managed to stay onboard Gin & Lime (Picture: RacingTV)

This is the moment Rachael Blackmore’s saddle skills were tested to the absolute max as she battled to stay onboard Gin & Lime before going on to win at the Cheltenham races on Friday.

Blackmore was riding Gin & Lime in what looked set to be a grandstand finish before horse My Drogo and her own fell at the penultimate fence while neck and neck.

A frantic ending to the 2m4f Novice Chase saw Harry Skelton unseated onboard My Drogo as both horses stumbled over the jump.

Thankfully both jockeys and horses got straight back up as Blackmore showed incredible skill and balance to not fall off and then held her nerve to jump the last and take victory.

‘It wasn’t that difficult (to sit),’ Blackmore said after the race. ‘It was very strange, a two-horse race, it just shows you that anything can happen.

‘Harry loomed up beside me and I thought he was going to go away from me at the second-last. She was so honest to get up and keep going like that, she was incredible.

‘Such honesty from her to do that, she didn’t put in the best round of jumping. There’s lot going on around the place and she wasn’t sure where she was going. It was so incredibly honest of the mare to do that.’

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Trainer Henry de Bromhead added: ‘It was mad, wasn’t it? We looked beaten, I don’t think the favourite deserved it (to fall) at all, he’d jumped brilliantly throughout.

‘It’s one of those things you don’t expect to see, but it worked out in our favour.

‘Obviously many days out in the hunting field stood her in good stead there, she was brilliant. You wouldn’t believe it would you?’

Skelton’s My Drogo was the 4/9 favourite heading into the race while Gin & Lime was priced at 7/4.

Skelton admitted his frustration at falling at the second-last but gave credit to Grand National winning jockey Blackmore for staying on.

‘He jumped the fence fine and knuckled down on landing. You saw what happened,’ the jockey told Racing TV. ‘I was delighted with him the whole way round.

Harry Skelton fell off My Drogo on the penultimate fence (Picture: RacingTV)

‘He jumped beautifully. He was a bit big at a couple down the back. He jumped the ditch at the top of the hill better than the mare. He came there on the bridle and would have won. We all know that, but at least he’s all right. I’m totally relaxed about it.

‘Frustrated he’s ended up not completing the race and that goes on his record, but that doesn’t mean he’s a lesser horse. He cantered up the straight.

‘He’s gone a nice, strong gallop, which is unusual in a two-horse race. Fair play to Rachael staying on. She made a similar mistake. That’s racing. We move on.’

Despite a vet reporting that Gin On Lime had suffered no abnormalities post-race and Blackmore’s assertion that her mount was fit to continue, the stewards said ‘she was advised that in similar circumstances she should take more time to assess the welfare of her mount.’


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