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Only a small handful of National Hunt jockeys will retire as a Grand National winner – Daryl Jacob is among those chosen few. He won the National in 2012 aboard Neptune Collonges by only a nose from Sunnyhillboy, which is the closest finish this race has ever witnessed.
With 1654 rides at the time of writing in the last five years, consisting of 283 wins and 236 places, Jacob’s record speaks for itself. Let’s take a closer look at some of his finer moments and assess the likelihood of his 2012 Grand National victory being repeated.
Being a second jockey to the legend, Ruby Walsh for Paul Nicholls was a fantastic achievement in itself, but Jacob went on to become the first rider for this renowned trainer after Walsh left the stable, which helped to elevate him to the next level.
Unquestionably, the main Daryl Jacob Grand National career highlight is his photo-finish victory in this famous 4 mile 3½ furlong race. Later, in an interview, he stated that it was the greatest race of his life. Neptune Collonges was a 33/1 shot before the off. However, both Paul Nicholls and Jacob believed they had a chance at the title with this eleven-year-old. And they were right!
This isn’t the only decent run from Daryl Jacob in the Grand National. He also managed 6th place on Ucello Conti in 2016, and a pair of 12th place finishes in 2015 and 2013 riding Pineau de Re and Join Together respectively.
Another notable win on Jacob’s resume is the 2014 Long Walk Hurdle at Royal Ascot. He was aboard Reve de Sivola. This nine-year-old thoroughbred had already recorded two victories in this race in 2012 and 2013, but with a different jockey.
Trivia about Jacob
Unfortunately, it’s not been all roses for this Grand National jockey. In 2014, after riding Lac Fortuna to victory for his second Cheltenham Festival win in the County Handicap Hurdle, he was involved in a freak accident before the start of the following race.
He was aboard Port Melon, who got spooked and crashed into a rail. Jacob was unseated and he landed on a concreted area used by spectators. From this fall, Jacob suffered a broken elbow, knee and leg. However, jump jockeys are a fearless, hardy breed and he was back in the saddle racing next season.
Daryl Jacob: Major wins
This Grand National jockey has had a pretty consistent career so far. He recorded his first major win in 2006 as a 23-year-old when he won Savills Chase, a Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase for five-year-olds and up.
His most successful season was undoubtedly in 2018 when he recorded wins in the Aintree Hurdle, Ryanair Novice Chase, Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices’ Hurdle, and Mildmay Novices’ Chase. Take a look at our table below for more info on some of his most significant career accomplishments.
|Irish Gold Cup
|JCB Triumph Hurdle
|Top Novices’ Hurdle
|JNwine.com Champion Chase
|County Handicap Hurdle
|Long Walk Hurdle
|Reve de Sivola
|Grand Course de Haies d’Auteuil
|Ryanair Novice Chase
|Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices’ Hurdle
|We Have A Dream
|Mildmay Novices’ Chase
|Champion Four Year Old Hurdle
Will Jacob be remembered as one of the leading jockeys of his generation? We’ll have to wait and see. He surely has lots of experience and notable wins at the big events such as the Grand National, Royal Ascot, and Cheltenham under his belt.
So what’s in store for Daryl Jacob Grand National 2020 and can he record another victory at Aintree Racecourse? The signs are positive if he gets the right horse, and the conditions are suitable.