Daryl Jacob: Saturday dash
Daryl Jacob looks ahead to a busy Saturday and reflects on another Grade One success.
Messire Des Obeaux: Impressive in the Challow
It was nice to finish the year with a Grade One success courtesy of Messire Des Obeaux in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury.
He's a horse who is getting better and better, improving with every run, and I thought it was a good performance.
It looked like a good renewal of the race on paper beforehand and rode like one too. It's very exciting to have novices like him – and Wholestone – to look forward to for the rest of the season.
L'Ami Serge was touched off at Cheltenham on New Year's Day but I was delighted with him. He jumped great back over hurdles and was happier on the left-handed track. He was slick over his obstacles and possibly just didn't quite stay up the hill after the last.
Nevertheless, it was a very encouraging return and gives us plenty of options as we plan our next move with him.
I'm riding at two meetings on Saturday starting with Midnight Jazz in the 32Red.com Mares' Hurdle at Sandown. I won on her last time at Doncaster where she produced a very gutsy performance. She'll need to raise her game again as this looks competitive despite a relatively small field but she's a good, hardy type who always tries very hard.
After that race I'll be jumping into the car and hotfooting it over to Wincanton to ride Fortunate George in the Bathwick Tyres Poole Handicap Hurdle. He ran very well at Ascot last time when finishing fourth and it was good to see him come out and do that.
He was a very green, babyish horse, last season and I think he's going to be able to take a step forward this term – hopefully starting here.
I also ride Catamaran Du Seuil in the closing Bathwick Tyres Bridgwater Novices' Hurdle. He has come over from France, where he was second on his last three starts, to join Dr Newland and I know he likes him. I enjoy riding for the yard – and the owners – and I'm looking forward to seeing how we go.
I have one ride at Chepstow on Sunday, Constantine Bay in division one of the Bathwick Tyres Novices' Hurdle.
He's a horse I won on up at Haydock last time in very soft ground. He was green there but got the hang of it in the last two or three furlongs and galloped home well. He's going to keep improving as the year goes on and is a horse with a bright future. He tried hard at Haydock which is always a great sign.