Big race double for Jacob
Daryl Jacob from Davidstown grabbed the headlines as he continued his impressive run of form with a 108/1 double at the prestigious Sandown Tingle Creek meeting on Saturday, winning two successive races worth over £110,000.
In the listed £60,000 December Handicap Hurdle he was involved in a great battle up the home straight on A Hare Breath (8/1) for Ben Pauling.
He challenged at the last and wore down Dr. Richard Newland’s Caid Du Lin (20/1) to get up in the closing yards.
Just half an hour earlier, Jacob had a much more comfortable success in the Grade 1 Henry V111 Novices’ Chase for Alan King on board Sceau Royal (11/1) for his retained owners, Simon Munir and Isaac Souede. He was 11 lengths clear of North Hill Harvey for the Skeltons.
He has been having a great time for these owners and has won on 15 of his 37 rides for them, a terrific strike rate.
The real surprise in this race was the poor display of the much hyped Finian’s Oscar (13/8) for Robbie Power and Colin Tizzard. Bred by Richard and Martin O’Keeffe at Taghmon, this one carried a tall reputation into the race.
Tom O’Brien was in action at Aintree on Saturday and had a couple of spins over the Grand National fences.
He finished a game second in the £70,000 Grand Sefton Chase on Colin Tizzard’s Ultra Gold (16/1), behind a good winner in Gas Line Boy (9/2f).
Earlier in the week Jacob won on Ravensdale (11/8) for Nigel Twiston Davies on his only ride at Haydock on Wednesday, and was pipped by a nose on Daytime Ahead (11/4) on Thursday at Leicester.
ON THE FLAT
There was an all-weather treble for Wexford riders at Newcastle on Wednesday evening.
Pat McDonald (Taghmon) had a double on Cracker (12/1) for Jim Goldie and Dream Revival (8/11f) for Paul Collins, and Jimmy Quinn (New Ross) won on one of his two rides, aboard Caring Touch (10/3) for Said Bin Suroor.
Pat Dobbs kept up his impressive form out in the UAE at Meydan on Thursday with a first and last race double for trainer Doug Watson, on Rayya (2/1) and Active Spirit (7/1). He has had five wins from his last 12 rides out there.
Aidan O’Brien finished his record-breaking season on a high note out in Hong Kong early on Sunday morning when his Highland Reel (3/1) won the €230,000 Hong Kong Vase under Ryan Moore in the last run of his illustrious career before going to stud.
The five year old has been a world traveler; he won 10 top-flight races from 27 in his career and created a new European prizemoney record with a grand total of more than £7.5 million.
This final win brought O’Brien’s world record breaking tally of Grade 1 wins for the season to 28, feat unlikely ever to be beaten by anyone, with the possible exception of himself.
ON THE IRISH SCENE
The Wexford connections were living off scraps early this week though I noted Paul Nolan’s Reelingintheyears (25/1) finishing second under David Mullins in a maiden hurdle at Clonmel on Big race double for Jacob Thursday.
Sean Flanagan kept the best to last and had a very nice double for Noel Meade on Sunday in the first two at Cork where Un De Sceaux made an imperious seasonal return before conditions caused the cancellation of the final two races.
Flanagan won the opening 22-runner 3yo maiden hurdle on Meade’s own Vision D’ete (3/1) quite snugly, from a trio of Gordon Elliott horses.
He actually won for Gigginstown in the 4yo maiden hurdle on Athenean (6/4f) by a comfortable five lengths.
He completed a good day’s work when picking up nearly €8,000 for being second in the €39,500 Kerry Group Novice Chase on the Liz Doyle trained La Bella Vida (11/1).
JJ Slevin from Kiltrea, Caim rode out his claim as a conditional jockey when he won the first race at Punchestown on Sunday on board Us and Them (3/1) for his first cousin, Joseph O’ Brien. He has been making rapid progress since turning professional in August of last year.
JJ dictated it lovely and gave him a lovely ride,’ enthused O’Brien about this front-running success.