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Rachael Blackmore says other female jockeys will follow in her footsteps after historic victory

Grand National winner Rachael Blackmore has said she 'won't be the last' female jockey to race to victory, after a historic outcome at Aintree yesterday. 

The Irish jockey rode Minella Times to a comfortable victory - despite being ranked as an 11/1 shot before the race. 

Going into Saturday’s race 17 different female jockeys had ridden 31 starters in the marathon steeplechase with the third-place finish of Katie Walsh on Seabass in 2012 the best result. 

Yesterday 31-year-old Blackmore marked an historic Grand National by becoming the first woman to finish first. 

Rachael Blackmore made history yesterday after becoming the first female jockey to win the Grand National

Blackmore, 31, said other women will follow in her footsteps. Last month she won six races at Cheltenham Festival

Speaking to the BBC afterwards, she said: 'It's brilliant but I won't be the last (woman). I'm delighted for myself and I know that's all part of it, but it's just fantastic.'

The daughter of a dairy farmer and a teacher, Blackmore is not from a racing family. 

Her younger sister is a lawyer and her older brother a graphic designer.

Initially, Blackmore wanted to be a vet before ending up studying equine science in Limerick. Back then she wanted to be an amateur jockey not believing it was feasible to turn professional.

She didn’t do that until she was 25 and even then it was a move done in hope of turning a trickle of rides into a respectable flow.

Following her historic victory, Blackmore told the BBC: 'You don't really let yourself believe it until you do cross the line we all know what can happen in racing, an incredible feeling 

'It's hard to even comprehend it right now to be honest, it hasn't even sunk in.

'The Aintree Grand National is the first race as a kid that would have caught my imagination or sparked my interest, I think it's the same for a lot of people, it's such a special race to be able to ride in it, I finished 10th last year and got a kick out of that that's the kind of race it is, to finish with your head in front is beyond belief.'

She rode six winners at last month’s Cheltenham Festival to become the first female rider to be the meeting’s leading jockey.

Going into Saturday’s race 17 different female jockeys had ridden 31 starters in the marathon. But Blackmore, riding 11-1 shot Minella Times, marked a moment of history in horse racing by finishing comfortably out in front of other riders 

But the Grand National victory takes the profile of the 31-year-old from Tipperary into a different stratosphere.

Going into the race, Blackmore had admitted that like any pony-mad youngster she had dreamed of riding in the National.

Afterwards she said: ‘This is the Aintree Grand National. I’m completely blown away. Minella Times was unbelievable, he jumped fantastic, I don’t think he missed a beat anywhere.

‘This is a massive deal for me personally, not the fact I’m a female. The thing that hit me when I crossed the line was that I’d won the National, not that I’m the first female to win the National. I’m just delighted.’ 

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