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Blackmore rides Gin On Lime to victory
Blackmore managed to avoid a fall at the penultimate fence as Harry Skelton was unseated from My Drogo

Rachael Blackmore and Gin On Lime claimed an “incredible” victory after a hugely dramatic Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.

Favourite My Drogo took a narrow lead at the penultimate fence only to fall and unseat Harry Skelton.

While Gin On Lime slithered on landing, Blackmore managed to stay on her horse before safely jumping the final obstacle.

“It was very strange, a two-horse race,” Blackmore told ITV.

“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.”

My Drogo edged ahead but stumbled just after jumping over the fence, sending Skelton tumbling to the ground.

At the same time, Gin On Lime fell to her knees and came to a standstill, but Blackmore steadied herself and pulled the mare back up to clear the final fence and win the race.

Trainer Henry De Bromhead said: “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?”

Trainer Dan Skelton said he was “delighted” with how six-year-old My Drogo had performed and expressed relief that the six-year-old was “all right”.

“He jumped the fence fine and knuckled down on landing. You saw what happened,” Skelton told Racing TV.

“I was delighted with him the whole way round. 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.”

Stewards advise Blackmore to ‘take more time’

After the race, Cheltenham stewards advised Blackmore that she “should take more time to assess the welfare of her mount” if she encountered a repeat of the circumstances surrounding her win in the future.

Blackmore had said she was satisfied that Gin On Lime was fit to continue the race.

A report from the stewards read: “An enquiry was held to consider the circumstances surrounding Rachael Blackmore, the rider of the winner, Gin On Lime, continuing in the race when her horse had made a very bad mistake at the penultimate fence.

“Blackmore and the veterinary officer were interviewed, and recordings of the incident were viewed. The veterinary officer stated that a post-race examination of Gin On Lime failed to reveal any abnormalities.

“The stewards noted Blackmore’s explanation that she felt the mare get to its feet quickly without any ill effects and having trotted soundly away, she was satisfied that Gin On Lime was fit to continue in the race.

“She was advised that in similar circumstances she should take more time to assess the welfare of her mount.”

Source: BBC

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