Has a female jockey ever won the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
The simple answer is no, not yet, but until recently female jockeys in the Cheltenham Gold Cup had been few and far between. In fact, the first female jockey to ride in the ‘Blue Riband’ event was the late Linda Griffiths, formerly Sheedy, who failed to complete the course on 500/1 rank outsider Foxbury in 1984. Remarkably, the second was not until 2017, when the now-retired Lizzie Kelly was unseated at the second fence by Tea For Two, although the partnership did return to Cheltenham to finish a distant seventh in 2018.
More recently, the redoubtable Rachael Blackmore has gone closest to becoming the first female jockey to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. In 2020, she rode Monalee, trained by Henry De Bromhead, to finish fourth, beaten just 1¾ lengths, behind Al Boum Photo. In 2021, having already won the Champion Hurdle on Honeysuckle, for the same trainer, she rode A Plus Tard to finish second, beaten 1¼ lengths, behind stable companion Minella Indo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. In that same race, Bryony Frost also rode Frodon to finish fifth, albeit 33¾ lengths behind the winner.