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Daryl Jacob is hoping that he can top off his successful season with a win at the Cheltenham Festival this week.

Jacob’s successful season started early as he landed the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby aboard Bristol De Mai at the beginning of November.

Since then he has enjoyed success in the Betfair Chase, Peterborough Chase, Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase and also the Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle.

These successes have amounted to five Grade two victories and four Grade ones.
Reflecting on his lucrative season Jacob said, “We have had a really good year plenty of big winners which is great and a festival winner would really top it off.”

Jacob’s career has so far been at its peak over the past few seasons, with last season being the best of his career with 88 winners. A lot of that has come from riding for owners, Simon Munir & Isaac Souede.

Since teaming up with Munir and Souede, Jacob has won a plethora of big races propelling him to be one of the leading jockeys in England.Reflecting on his partnership with Munir and Souede, Jacob said, “I’m very lucky to ride for Simon and Isaac, they are great men and we have a great relationship, we speak on the phone daily and not only about the horses, we’re close friends as well. It’s great to ride for your friends as you want to do well for them.”

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Jacob had the disappointing news last week, that two of his leading rides will miss the Festival, with Sceau Royal, who was 7-1 for the Arkle and one of England’s leading hopefuls, missing the Grade 1 due to a slight injury.

Top Notch also misses the Festival, the 7-year-old run a gallant race twelve months ago when running Yorkhill close in the JLT last year and he would have had a good chance in this year’s Ryanair Chase.

A disappointed Jacob said, “A few of them have gone by the way side which is gutting, Sceau Royal and Top Notch were two of my best rides but what can you do, that’s horses when you turn the screw they can sometimes brake.

Looking ahead to his festival rides Jacob said “Terrefort would have a great chance and especially with the way the ground has gone, his profile is good and he won the Scilly Isles well last time out.

“I am also really looking forward to riding We Have A Dream in the Triumph Hurdle on Friday, I can’t wait to ride him.

“Another of Simon and Isaac’s horses, who would be a good each way shot is Fixe La Cap the Coral, I think he has a great each way chance, his odds of 33-1 are far too big and he shouldn’t be that price. He’s back to his best and working really well.

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These three horses are trained by Champion trainer Nicky Henderson and Jacob is pleased to be riding for Henderson at the Olympics of National Hunt racing.

“It’s fantastic riding for Nicky Henderson at the Festival, knowing that his horses are bang there, his horses are in really good form and have been working really well, it’s exciting knowing that his horses are in good form and when you’re riding for him you know you’re going there with a great chance.” Said Jacob

Munir and Souede also own Footpad, the highly exciting chaser who is 5-4 favourite to win the Arkle and despite Ruby Walsh being on board, due to being trained by Willie Mullins, Jacob will be cheering on his friends and bosses horse.

“Footpad has an incredibly good chance in the Arkle, I have thought all season that he would win it so I’m hoping he does for Simon and Issaac.”

As well as Daryl having the lucky position of being Munir and Souede’s retained rider, he is also Ben Pauling’s number one jockey, after being appointed by the Gloucestershire handler at the end of last season.

Reflecting on teaming up with Pauling, Jacob said, “We have had a good start to our partnership we’ve had a good year but it would be nice to top it off with a winner but it’s incredibly hard to get winners at the festival, it’s our Olympics and everything is geared and primed around Cheltenham so it’s really difficult to get a winner there but we will be trying our best.”

Jacob pinpointed Gowiththeflow as Pauling’s best chance at the Festival, “Ben has a really nice horse called Gowiththeflow, he runs in the Albert Bartlett, he’s a nice type of horse, he’d have a good each way chance.”

Looking ahead to the Gold Cup, Jacob who doesn’t have a ride in the race, said “Might Bite is a brilliant horse and clearly has a great chance, but Native River would be a very good each way bet, with the ground looking like it’s going to be soft and if they make it into a war of attrition it would suit him more and he would have a good chance.”

Article by @MDrowne1