Jacob and Flanagan hit weekend jackpot
Major winners for Wexford jockeys
What had been a quiet week for Wexford connections exploded into life at the weekend, with Daryl Jacob winning the big race at Haydock on Saturday, and at the Coral day at Leopardstown on Sunday Seán Flanagan hit the jackpot in the €100,000 Hurdle and Liz Doyle also had a good winner.
Flanagan, who is having his best season for years, rode a great race on Ice Cold Soul (20/1) for Noel Meade and Ryanair's Michael O'Leary in the Leopardstown Hurdle; he slipped up the inside on the final bend, stole a lead and held on with determination to repel all challenges and win by half a length from a pair of Tony Martin runners.
There was a very interesting Wexford story behind the scenes. Flanagan was due to ride Meade's other horse, De Name Escapes Me, which was pulled out on Sunday morning. As stable jockey he was switched to Ice Cold Soul and the rest is now history.
The unlucky jockey to lose out was Jonathan Moore from Adamstown who ended up with no ride in the race instead of being on the winner. Such is the luck of this fickle game.
Noel Meade said afterwards: 'It's been working great with Seán…We get on very well together. I enjoy the way he rides and the conversations afterwards. He's a great schooling jockey. He has a great pair of hands and everything you want. I feel sorry for Johnny but there will be another day for him'.
Flanagan had won this race a few years ago on Liz Doyle's 50/1 shot, Pennys Bill, and the Crossabeg trainer gave it another good shot, her Derulo (in from 66/1 in the morning to 25/1) finishing fourth under Adrian Heskin.
Earlier Doyle was delighted with the well-backed win of Justmemyselfandi (4/1) under Brian O'Connell for the Well Oiled Partnership, outpacing money-on favourite, Capital Force under Ruby Walsh, on the run-in.
Doyle said afterwards: 'He's a lovely sound clean horse. I fell in love with him when I saw him galloping around Monksgrange (Rathnure) and we ended up buying him'.
In Britain Daryl Jacob climaxed another very good week with a win in the highly-rated £50,000 Peter Marsh handicap chase at Haydock on Saturday aboard Bristol de Mai (4/1jf) for Nigel Twiston Davies, romping home by over 20 lengths.
Jacob had triumphed at Exeter on Tuesday on Dance Floor (6/1) for Nick Mitchell in a handicap chase.
On Thursday he made the trip to Wincanton for just one short priced ride and it paid off, with River Wylde (3/10), a snug winner of a two-mile novice hurdle for Nicky Henderson.
Pat McDonald from Taghmon was another who was doing a lot of travelling for a few rides on the flat.
He had two at Kempton on Wednesday night and came away with a winner for Ian Jardine on hot favourite, Absolute Blast (8/11).
But it's his Friday schedule that really brings the life of a jockey in Britain into focus, with two single rides at far-flung tracks. He drove 275 miles to Lingfield to ride Dream Reversion (5/1) for Tom Dascome in the 1.30, but the horse faded in the final furlong out to seventh place.
McDonald then drove 175 miles to Wolverhampton for his only mount in the first race at 5.45 on Tailor's Row for regular patron, Mark Johnston; he was leading inside the final furlong, but the horse hung left and he was collared and took second place.
Then it was home to Leyburn up on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, another 175 miles, and a grand total of 620 miles in the course of one day for just two rides and no winner.
It was a tough day's work for a small return.