Top jockey Daryl Jacob reflects on Nusret's Grade 2 win at Kempton, picks out his Cheltenham handicapper to follow and looks ahead to his Newbury rides.
It was great to land the Grade 2 Coral Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton last Saturday under Nusret for Joseph O’Brien.
He did it really well and picked up nicely from the second last to the last considering Jamie Moore got three lengths on me. He winged the last and just idled when he got to the front.
It was a performance that I was hoping to get off him, I’ve always held him in high regard. The ground was a big difference, he likes good ground.
He’s come out of the race well and we’re not 100 per cent sure on his next race.
I see he’s well up in the Fred Winter betting but that’s not a confirmed target, he could well wait for the Grade 1 4-y-o Anniversary Hurdle at Aintree. The flat track will suit him well at Liverpool and he’s one to look forward to in the spring.
Sceau Royal ran a really good race in the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell on Sunday, we were very happy with him. He got the trip well, he stayed nicely, Brewin’upastorm missing the last gave me half a chance but he ran a brilliant race.
He was giving him 6lb, the winner was having his first run since having a wind operation, and we were delighted with our fellow. He’s holding his form, he’s still very consistent and he goes to Aintree next for the G1 Aintree Hurdle. He’s just a warrior.
I’ve had a quick look at the Cheltenham Festival handicap weights and one that I’m really looking forward to riding is Rouge Vif off 137 in the Grand Annual.
He’s going for a racecourse gallop on Sunday, that’ll be his final strong piece of work and he showed much more at Doncaster back over fences last time. He could be very well handicapped.
I’m looking forward to him over two miles at Newbury, hopefully they’ll do a nice job with the watering. He’s fresh and well I worked him during the week, he’s a very lightly-raced horse this year and that will stand him in good stead. I think he goes there with a real nice chance. He ran better than the form suggests at Ascot as he was too keen, he travelled well to two out and got tired. I’m expecting better from him this Saturday.
The challenge that is Matata runs in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle and hopefully he’s more tractable than when he ran out at Wincanton last time out. He’s got ability, but he’s also got his own ideas about the game and who knows if he’ll settle and respond to my instructions. The one positive is that he’s going back left-handed here, as that seems to be his preferred way of going.
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