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Rachael Blackmore booked for Lady Excalibur in Aintree bumper
Rachael Blackmore has been booked to ride Lady Excalibur on the opening day of the 2022 Randox Grand National Festival.
The 2021 Grand National winning jockey is a high-profile booking for Lady Excalibur in the Mares’ Bumper on Thursday afternoon, handler Alan Jones of the opinion that the pair are perfectly suited. The horse was an unlucky runner-up and a double winner during three starts throughout summer and autumn 2021, connections of the opinion that the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup winning jockey would get on well with the five-year-old. Indeed they attempted to book her in July for her Stratford debut although on that occasion she couldn’t travel due to injury. Nevertheless she will be partnering the prospect for the Grade 2 event.
Trainer Alan Jones said: “I’ve always felt Rachael would suit her and we tried to get her over for Lady Excalibur’s debut in the summer, but Rachael was injured at the time.
“She’s a small mare and being a quiet, sympathetic rider, I think Rachael will suit her really well. She’s a top rider.
“I rate Lady Excalibur very highly and she should be unbeaten really, it was just a slightly false-run race at Uttoxeter that didn’t play to her strengths – she’s a staying mare bred for the Flat and the race turned into a sprint.”
Lady Excalibur didn’t have a straightforward start, failing to make the track for two years following her purchase as a €100,000 yearling purchase.
Jones added: “She struggled to get to the track in her early years and when she came to me she was going to go to stud as they didn’t think she was progressing as she should. Coming to a small yard and getting individual attention has definitely helped her and she clearly has ability.”