Rachael says she's doing lots of jobs around the house during the lockdown
Top jockey Rachael Blackmore was enjoying another outstanding season before the Covid-19 restrictions brought a halt to racing.
Like everyone involved in the industry, she now has more time on her hands than she really wants as she longs for a return to the saddle when racing resumes again.
In association with Horse Racing Ireland, we asked her how she was coping during the lockdown and on her career to date.
What was your childhood ambition?
To be a vet like John Halley
Growing up, who was your sporting hero?
What or where is your happy place?
On an adventure somewhere with friends.
What sparked your love of racing?
Watching the Grand National and having a fast pony called Bubbles.
What horse put you on the map?
Luska Lad, trained by Shark Hanlon and Klassy trained by Sam Curling – I won three point-to-points on both of them at the start of my career.
Who is your favourite horse?
Without a doubt – Honeysuckle. We have had some special days together
What was it like to ride in your first race?
It was a Point to Point I finished 3rd and thought it was easy. I did not make it back into the placings for the rest of that season!
How long does it take to learn race-riding tactics?
It is ever evolving so you are always learning and adapting, the basics you can figure out after a short while. The more you ride the better you get.
Describe the feeling of riding your first winner?
My first racecourse winner was Stowaway Pearl for John 'Shark' Hanlon at Thurles on February 10, 2011. The feeling was shock, disbelief, and joy.
What is your most memorable racing moment?
First winner at the Cheltenham Festival on A Plus Tard.
What is your favourite racecourse in Ireland?
If you weren’t a jockey what would you be?
Probably repeating the Leaving Cert AGAIN!!!! Trying to get the points for Veterinary.
If you could ride one horse, what would it be?
How do you cope with pressure?
Try not get to wrapped up in the situation.
What mental preparation do you do for the big days?
Have the homework done as the day get closer - don’t over think it (try not to anyway!)
How do you stay motivated?
It’s very easy when your job is what you love, and you get to ride the horses I do.
How do you deal with dips in form?
Usually give out and annoy the people I live with.
Outside of racing, what is your favourite sporting moment?
Playing basketball in secondary school and getting to play in the arena in Tallaght.
Can you give us a Netflix/film recommendation?
I recently watched Captain Fantastic and enjoyed it.
What is your guilty pleasure?
A Mars Bar and few squares of Dairymilk into the microwave with a small drop of milk this equals a delish chocolate sauce which is delightfully poured over vanilla ice-cream, preferably Haagen-Dazs.
Desert island discs – name your favourite three songs?
Yellow – Coldplay
Old Thing Back - The Matoma + Biggie
Dreams - The Cranberries
What person do you admire the most and why?
Right now, all the people working in the frontline around the world.
I love food. Roast chicken, potatos, veg, stuffing, gravey etc, would be high on the list.
Where is your favourite place to go on holidays?
I love to see the sea.
What ambitions do you still have?
Invent something revolutionary
What is the hidden gem of Tipperary?
HINSPO in Cashel – an amazing interiors shop
When you think of your home what immediately springs to mind?
How are you occupying your time during the Covid-19 restrictions?
Home doing ……. jobs
If you had one piece of advice for everyone during these worrying times of Covid-19, what would it be?
Get your 10 minutes of worrying out of the way in the morning, then have an ice-cream and just enjoy the rest of that day.
If you were to go back to when you were 20 years old and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
There isn’t as much money in pet lambs as you think.