Rachael Blackmore returns almost 100 days after ankle injury

32-year-old back in action on Henry De Bromhead’s Balko Des Flos in Galway

Rachael Blackmore, pictured celebrating victory at the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase in April, returns from injury this weekend. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Rachael Blackmore, pictured celebrating victory at the Randox Grand National Handicap Chase in April, returns from injury this weekend. Photograph: David Davies/PA

 

Almost 100 days after fracturing an ankle and picking up a hip injury in a fall at Killarney in July Rachael Blackmore returns to action this weekend.

Irish racing’s highest-profile figure teams up with the Henry De Bromhead Balko Des Flos in a handicap hurdle at Galway on Saturday.

Blackmore also rides for De Bromhead at Wexford on Sunday on board Upping The Anti.

“I’ve been on the sidelines for just over three months but my recovery has gone very well. I’m feeling good and ready to get back,” she reported.

It is a quiet return for the 32-year-old jockey who, despite competition from Olympic champions Kellie Harrington and rowers Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy, is odds-on to be RTÉ’s Sports Personality of 2021.

That is on the back of her stellar exploits earlier this year including being crowned top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival.

Blackmore had ridden 22 winners in Ireland prior to her spill and is still in the running to be crowned champion jockey in Ireland this season.

She was runner-up to Paul Townend last season when riding 92 winners, eight behind her rival.

Balko Des Flos finished runner-up to his stable companion Minella Times as Blackmore crowned her pioneering campaign with Aintree National glory in April.

In flat news, on Sunday, Search For A Song will try to secure more ‘Leger’ success in Paris.

Dermot Weld’s former dual-Irish St Leger winner is among the leading fancies for the French equivalent, the €350,000 Prix Royal Oak.

Colin Keane travels to Longchamp to maintain the partnership with a mare he rode to a near 10 length victory at the Curragh last time.

Other Irish interest in a race due off at 2.50pm Irish-time will be on the Emmet Mullins-trained Zero Ten, a former point-to-point winner who won on the flat at the Galway Festival during the summer. Top French jockey Maxime Guyon takes the ride.

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