Jacob hoping Haydock hero Bristol De Mai can light up Aintree in Grand National
Jockey Daryl Jacob is chasing a second victory in the £1-million Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on Saturday and is hoping Bristol De Mai can cap what has already been a glorious career for the striking grey.
A three-time winner of the Betfair Chase at Haydock, Bristol De Mai, who is trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies comes into the race off the back of a creditable second in the Cotswold Chase at Sandown to Native River and is a general 20/1 shot for Saturday’s four and a quarter-mile event at 5.15pm.
Jacob has already tasted success in the contest, having guided Neptune Collonges to victory in 2012 and would love to once again enjoy victory in the race that stops a nation.
He said: “Bristol De Mai is in very good form. He schooled very nicely for me last week and has worked very nicely at home recently.
“Everyone seems very happy with him. Obviously it is a big task carrying top-weight over an extended four miles, but he has been a wonderful servant to us and he is one of the class horses in the race.
“Bristol De Mai has been a lovely jumper since he came over France. He schooled nicely over Aintree-type fences last week and I was very happy with what I saw.
“Hopefully, we have a clear round and he won’t be too far away. Neptune Collonges fitted the same sort of bill in that he was a classy horse bringing top form to the table, having finished in the placings in a Gold Cup. He may have even won more Grade Ones if he was not in the Denman and Kauto Star era.
“Bristol De Mai is exactly the same in that he has boasts top-class form into the race. He gets three miles on a flat track around Haydock very well. Obviously, you’re never sure until you run over it, but hopefully he can stay the trip. I believe he will and I will ride him as if he will stay the trip.
“You never know until you go to the well, but I would be hopeful he’ll stay with a flat track sure to play to his strengths. I don’t think quicker ground will be a problem. If it is good to soft, good in places, I would be very happy.
“If it was four miles in heavy ground running off top-weight, I think that would be a massive ask. Bristol De Mai goes in nice ground and I don’t think an extended four miles on testing ground would be a plus for him.
“Every horse is a rival in the Grand National. You have to beat every horse in the race. We’ve seen the likes of Mon Mome and Auroras Encore win the race at big prices in the past and just look at earlier this week with a 150/1 winner of the Irish Grand National. Any horse can win it, so Cloth Cap is one of 39 other dangers. It’s going to be a very tough race.”
“It is every jockey’s dream when you start riding racehorses when you’re a kid, the Grand National is the one race you watch. It is one of your biggest dreams to be a part of the Grand National. That is why you get up early in the morning for the dedication so you can be a part of this big race.
“It is an exceptional day and I do think it will be different this year without the Liverpool crowd. I feel like the Liverpool crowd help make this meeting what it is.
“It will be a completely surreal circumstance and it will be different this year.
“I’m very proud of having won a Grand National on Neptune Collonges in 2012. When I started riding racehorses, it was a race I used to watch and to say I have won an iconic race which the whole world watches is fantastic. I’ve been lucky to ride big winners in Britain, Ireland and France, but winning the Grand National is certainly up there with one of the highlights of my career so far."
Latest Grand National betting from Betway4/1 Cloth Cap; 8/1 Burrows Saint; 10/1 Any Second Now, Minella Times; 11/1 Kimberlite Candy; 14/1 Discorama, Secret Reprieve; 16/1 The Storyteller; 18/1 Farclas, Magic Of Light; 20/1 Bristol De Mai, Potters Corner, Some Neck; 25/1 Milan Native; 28/1 Bar