Daryl Jacob has been in flying form of late and he reflects on his recent winners and guides us through his weekend chances, including Lalor and Barters Hill.
Daryl's Saturday rides
It has been a brilliant week. Between Saturday and Tuesday I had six winners from six rides, with a 50-50 split down the middle for my two main jobs. It's great when you can keep everyone happy!
The first three were for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede and we got the ball rolling in a Grade One as Terrefort showed guts and class to see off Cyrname in the Scilly Isles at Sandown.
It’s a race that’s been very lucky for us as we’ve won it four years in a row now and Terrefort dug very deep to land this on what was just his second start in Britain.
I think he’s a very nice horse for the future, but I’m not sure about more immediate plans. Whether he goes to Cheltenham or not, he’s one to look forward to even further down the line.
Then on Sunday I had a double at Musselburgh with We Have A Dream and Calett Mad.
We Have A Dream was very good and I couldn't be more excited ahead of the JCB Triumph Hurdle. I respect Apple's Shakira and the Irish challenge, but my fellow is so quick over his hurdles, he's so quick and I'd say Cheltenham will suit him more than Musselburgh.
I was worried it might be too sharp a track for him but he travelled extremely well and pinged his hurdles. He’s won a Grade One, Grade Two, Listed race and done nothing wrong at all. It’s full steam ahead for the Triumph now and I can’t wait.
Click on the image to back We Have A Dream for the Triumph Hurdle with Sky Bet (5/1 NRNB)
The wind surgery certainly seemed to help Calett Mad who enjoyed being dropped in in the Pertemps qualifier. It was a good performance and he'll be going to Cheltenham, perhaps for the Final – depending on what the handicapper does.
My next three winners were all for Ben Pauling and it's great to get his horses back on track. It's been well documented that it’s been a quiet spell for his team, but it made sense to give them a quiet time due to a few head colds and what have you. Things seem to be rolling again now.
I’m not sure how good a race it was, but his race at Ascot seems to suggest he's a mid-120s horse so we'll see what the handicapper does before making any plans with him.
Onto this weekend and I have some cracking rides at Newbury, starting with Barters Hill in the Betfair Cash Out Handicap Hurdle.
I’m really looking forward to him, it’s a great training performance from Ben Pauling just to get back to the track, but we’re hopeful the old ability remains.
His best schooling session with me was his latest one this week and I'm excited to get back on such a talented horse, hopefully he can show spark and run a nice race.
In the Betfair Hurdle I ride Lalor for Kayley Woollacott and I’ll be thinking of my friend Richard on what will be an emotional day. Although I haven’t ridden Lalor for a while I’ve been associated with him throughout his career – I rode him in his bumper and I've often ridden him in his work at home.
I sat on him on Wednesday and he felt great, schooled really well and he could be well-handicapped off 135. The track and ground will suit and he’s had the wind surgery since his last run so that could help him as well.
He goes there with a good chance as he has plenty in his favour and it would be great to win this valuable pot as I’ve never won it before.
Markov runs in the novices' handicap chase and he's on a hat-trick now after wins at Fontwell and Doncaster earlier in the season. The handicapper went a little crazy putting him up 12lb for his last win as the race fell apart and he just picked up the pieces.
He'll have to improve enormously to win this from his revised mark but Ben's horses are clearly back in form and I wouldn't rule out some improvement. He might be a Cheltenham horse, but Saturday will tell us much more. I suspect going up a couple of furlongs in trip will be a help to him if anything.
Nestor Park is a really lovely horse. He's absolutely massive and whatever he does in the bumper at Newbury he will be a proper hurdler and chaser one day with any luck.
It's a very good race tomorrow, as you'd expect for a Listed bumper at this course, but I hope he's got a great chance after he really knuckled down to win at Ascot when last seen in November.
We've been waiting for the right race with him and making sure he's 100% when he returns and thankfully everything looks in place for a good run.
Delire D'Estruval is declared in the Pertemps qualifier at Exeter on Sunday and I'm really looking forward to getting back on him.
Last time at Plumpton was a bit of a farce as we only ended up jumping four hurdles in a two and a half mile race so you can probably draw a line through that.
His previous Haydock form is very good, he's got a lot of guts and Exeter should suit him down to the ground. There may just be a little bit more mileage in his mark off 135.