The best jockeys at this year’s Cheltenham Festival

This year’s Cheltenham Festival was always going to succeed. For the first time in two years, spectators were back at Prestbury Park, and the famous ‘Cheltenham roar’ was back in full voice throughout four days of exciting horse racing. Despite the rain threatening to dampen spirits on day two, horse racing fans were at their best for plenty of entertaining races. With the curtain closed on Cheltenham for another year, there are plenty of narratives to dissect, as plenty of favorites tasted victory whilst some outsiders shocked the horse betting sites UK.

There’s a reason Cheltenham is regarded as one of the most prestigious events on the British sporting calendar. The big races feel so unique and the best trainers and jockeys from all around head for the Cotswolds to compete. Willie Mullins won the leading trainer with a string of good performances including five winners on the final day, but what about the jockeys? Read on as we look at who was aboard the best horses throughout this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

Paul Townend

For the second time in three years, Paul Townend was crowned leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival. It proved to be a memorable four days for the Irishman, whose notable winners included Sir Gerhard, Energumene, and Allah, who was dominant in the Ryanair Chase as predicted in the horse racing tips from Betdaq.

Following a [SC1] difficult moment when he fell on Galopin Des Champs, it’s testament to Townend’s character that he was able to bounce back, something Mullins also credited him for.

“Any winner is always good at Cheltenham and Paul has ridden beautifully when you think what happened with Galopin (Des Champs) earlier in the week,” he said upon winning leading trainer. “I’m delighted with the whole team and I’m going to accept the award with all my team because they are the ones who do it in the background leaving me free.”

Rachael Blackmore

Last year’s leading jockey, Rachael Blackmore was unable to replicate her success at Cheltenham this time around, in which she was aboard six winners and later picked up the Grand National along the way. Although she was beaten to first placed by Townend this year, the Irishwoman can take some consolation in the fact she won the Gold Cup. Blackmore became the first female jockey to ride a winner in the Gold Cup with A Plus Tard, picking up a measure of revenge after coming up short last year. The sky looks to be the limit for Blackmore, and it will be interesting to see if ‘The Queen of Prestbury Park’ will regain her crown next year.

Nico de Boinville

After a good start in which he picked up two winners for trainer Nicky Henderson, Nico de Boinville will be kicking himself he didn’t establish a greater lead after it took Mullins until the final race of day one to record the first victory. De Boinville won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with favorite Constitution Hill but will be frustrated with pulling up aboard Shiskin in the Champion Chase, especially with how much attention the rematch between him and Energumene received in the build-up after their first encounter in January’s Clarence House Chase.


 [SC1]Just changed as that was on day three

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