On fire in Britain
O’Brien and Jacob share big double
In Britain last week the Wexford jumps jockeys were in sparkling form - Tom O'Brien and Jonathan Moore, both from the Adamstown area, had five winners each and Daryl Jacob from Davidstown scored three. Seán Flanagan from Palace East joined in with a major winner at Down Royal on Friday.
There was a great Wexford double at Wincanton on Saturday, with Tom O'Brien and Daryl Jacob winning both of the major £60,000 races.
O'Brien was a little fortunate in the Badger Ales Chase when the Paul Nicholls favourite, Southfield Theatre, got into contention but came down at the last.
This left O'Brien clear on Gentleman Jon (9/1) for Colin Tizzard, with Jacob surviving a bad mistake by front-running Set List (10/1) to take second for Emma Lavelle.
Earlier, Jacob had won the big hurdle race at the meeting aboard Alan King's hot favourite, Sceau Royal (4/6), with the minimum of fuss. On Sunday at Sandown he had another short-priced winner in Khezerabad for Nicky Henderson.
At Ffos Las in Wales on Sunday, Jonathan Moore had a 35/1 treble for Rebecca Curtis at her local track, winning on Binge Drinker (11/4), Joe Farrell (5/2) and Globalisation (13/8) on which he surged late to force a dead heat.
Earlier in the week, Jacob gave an excellent ride on Cauflields Venture (7/1) at Exeter on Tuesday to win the three-mile handicap chase for Emma Lavelle by a neck in a driving finish.
Tom O'Brien maintained his recent run of good priced winners at Chepstow on Wednesday on Burton Boru (12/1) for Colin Tizzard, collaring the hotly-fancied stablemate, Waterloo Warrior (5/4), by a short head on the line.
He had a much easier time of it on Thursday at Newbury when scoring a comfortable double, on Major Mac (1/2f) for Hughie Morrison and then on Sandy Beach (9/1) for Tizzard again.
Jonathan Moore made it three Wexford winners at Newbury when putting in what is becoming a trademark front running ride on Bigbadjohn (7/4) for Rebcca Curtis in a two-horse race, overturning odds-on favourite, Our Kaemfer (1/2), and Noel Fehily.
O'Brien was back in the winners' enclosure at Fontwell on Friday, on Midtech Valentine (2/1) for Ian Williams in a valuable handicap hurdle.
Jonathan Moore had mixed fortune for his boss, Rebecca Curtis, at Aintree on Saturday; he was a comfortable winner of the opening novice hurdle on Geordie Des Champs (6/4f); he took a tumble on Definite Income (7/4 jf) in the three-runner novices chase and lost out on his other two rides when the Curtis horses were withdrawn.
Such are the ups and downs of jumps racing, and he was certainly up again the next day at Ffos Las.
Seán Flanagan caused a major shock at the prestigious Down Royal meeting on Friday when he overturned a Ruby Walsh/Gordon Elliott hotshot, Apple's Jade, in the featured €50,000 Grade 2 two-mile hurdle on the outsider of the field, Rashaan, trained up north by Colin Kidd.
The Clonroche man followed up with a snug winner on Saturday's card for his boss, Noel Meade, on 5/4 favourite, Bel Ami De Sivola, in the €14,000 maiden hurdle, but suffered a fall from Monksland in the big race of the meeting, the Grade 1 JNWine.com champion chase.
Best Wexford run at Naas on Sunday was a close-up third by John A. Berry's Ballyroe Rambler under Mikey Fogarty in the two-mile handicap hurdle, while Jamie Codd won the bumper on Gordon Elliott's odds-on Brelade.