Rachael Blackmore Favourite For RTE Sportsperson of the Year
Rachael Blackmore remains odds-on favourite to be named 2021 RTE Sportsperson of the Year despite the notable achievements of several other Irish athletes in recent months.
Olympic gold medalist Kellie Harrington and Solheim Cup winner Leona Maguire have both seen their odds shorten significantly of late in what has been a year of phenomenal progress for female athletes in particular.
However, Grand National winner Blackmore is fending off the challenge of her fellow high-achievers with the top Irish bookmakers sticking with the jockey to win this year’s gong.
Paddy Power go 4/6 on Blackmore, an implied probability of 60%, while Boylesports are the same price with both betting sites in agreement on the favourite.
RTE Sportsperson of the Year Odds
|Leona Maguire||10/1||Paddy Power|
|Paul O’Donovan & Fintan McCarthy||16/1||Paddy Power|
|Jason Smyth||40/1||Paddy Power|
Blackmore became the first female winner of the iconic Aintree Grand National in April on board 10/1 shot Minella Times. She was one of the favourites in the Grand National betting before the race, a measure of how highly regarded she is.
It capped an already highly successful year for the Tipperary native having also made a significant impact in the Cheltenham Festival betting the previous month, finishing as top jockey. Again, she was the first female to achieve this.
Indeed, Blackmore has been favourite for the RTE gong since Cheltenham and her exploits at Aintree saw her tighten her grip on the RTE award, which will be announced at the RTE Sports Award in January 2022.
Women dominate the top of the betting, and rightly so, with Dublin boxer Kellie Harringon also in with a great shout on the back of her odds-defying Olympic gold in August.
Harrington won the women’s lightweight final in Tokyo, beating hot favourite Beatriz Ferreira of Brazil by unanimous decision having been the 7/4 underdog before the opening bell.
Third in the betting is golfer Leona Maguire, who in September played a vital role in Europe winning the Solheim Cup, the women’s version of the Ryder Cup.
The 26-year-old Cavan native was well known in Irish golf circles before this year’s Solheim Cup but is now a household name in the women’s game after winning more points than any other amateur in the history of the competition.
It looks almost certain we’ll have another female winner this year after Katie Taylor took home the gong for the second time in 2020.
The shortest-priced male candidates are rowers Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy, who won gold in the men's lightweight double sculls in Tokyo.
The Skibbereen duo were Olympics betting favourites to land the gold medal and went off as the shortest-priced Irish entry ever to compete in an Olympic final.
They duly delivered but despite creating history as Ireland’s first Olympic gold medal winners in rowing, they are considered outsiders in the betting on the 2021 award.
Next in the betting on RTE Sportsperson of the Year is Paralympian Jason Smyth, who won gold in the T13 100m final, his sixth Paralympic title.
The Derry native is a household name in Irish athletics and at the age of 34 he could well have competed in his last Paralympics having never been beaten. Smith is a remarkable athlete and has had a stellar year, but is a big outsider for the award at 40/1.
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