While Grand National heroine Rachael Blackmore may appear to have taken some by surprise on Minella Times, I witnessed her steely determination and clinical efficiency some 20 years ago at the Ploughing.

A then 10-year-old Rachael came into the Ploughing stand like so many others, asking: “Have you got any competitions I can enter?”

Assuming this was a ruse to add to her prestigious stash of free biros, proffered a pen.

“No, no, that’s OK,” replied Blackmore, producing a sheaf of sticky labels already pre-printed with her name, address and contact number. Slapping the label on the entry form, she was gone to seek more competitions, leaving an open-mouthed Dealer in her wake.

She hasn’t always been so level-headed though, by her own admission.

The Examiner recently asked the Tipperary wonderwoman what advice she would give her 20-year-old self. Her wry reply: “There’s not as much money in pet lambs as you think!”