Daryl Jacob endured mixed fortunes at Wincanton as after partnering a winner he later picked up a 10-day suspension which will rule him out of the lucrative Christmas period.
Grandioso (7-2) made the perfect start to his new career over fences in the Weatherbys Johnny Worrall Lifetime In Racing Beginners' Chase under a confident Jacob ride. Trained by Paul Nicholls and representing owner Graham Wylie, he was no superstar over hurdles but immediately looks like taking higher rank over bigger obstacles.
After taking a nice lead off the returning Coole River, Daryl Jacob bided his time before jumping to the front at the second-last. He had no trouble in quickening clear to beat the former Jessica Harrington-trained runner, who was having his first start for over 1000 days, by two and a quarter lengths. Back in third was Renard D'Irlande, who benefited from an amazing recovery from Aidan Coleman after a mistake down the back straight.
Jacob told Racing UK: "He was a bit guessy at the first couple of fences but after that he backed off and jumped really well. Considering the ground wasn't ideal for him he's done that really well. He's still relatively inexperienced, even when he's in front at home he doesn't do a whole lot so he had a bit of a look around but it's open enough out there and he was probably getting tired.
"I think on better ground three miles wouldn't be a problem but on this sort of ground two-five is far enough. That was a decent race, we went an even gallop, the second was a Grade Two winner over hurdles a couple of years ago. He's won now so he's obviously going the right way."
The day turned sour for the jockey, though, as riding Ulis De Vassy in the Racing Welfare Fox-Pitt Eventing Handicap Hurdle he was headed after the last by Quaddick Lake (9-2) and momentarily dropped his hands on crossing a path some 50 yards before the line.
Jacob soon started riding again and went down by only a neck but whether it would have made any difference given he stopped riding for two strides is hard to quantify. Quaddick Lake was ridden by Nick Scholfield and trained by Jerry Scott and the pair doubled up in the next with Ballinahow Star (6-4 favourite).
Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, will consult with Jacob over the weekend and seek a second opinion before deciding whether or not to appeal. He said: "I've seen the race on TV but I am collecting a DVD this evening when we will have a better look at it. You can slow it down and watch it in more detail with a DVD, so it is worth doing. I appreciate there are two elements to the rule 'would have won, or could have won' but I think he was beaten anyway. I don't think what Daryl did made any difference to the result, but we will get a second opinion anyway."
Andrew Thornton will have taken plenty of pleasure out of getting Goring One (9-4) to catch Plein Pouvoir in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Silver Buck Handicap Chase. Plein Pouvoir had put up a spring-heeled display of jumping from the front and appeared to have everything under control entering the straight. Yet despite being some 10 lengths adrift, Thornton refused to accept defeat and ended up winning going away by a length and a quarter.
Thornton said: "I always thought I had a chance because I thought the other horse might not stay. My horse likes to make the running but when you're going a good gallop like that I thought there was no need to try and take him on. I knew if I was good enough I'd outstay him. To be fair he doesn't really like that ground but he's getting a bit older now and is learning to handle it that bit better. He's not over big but he's gutsy and determined. He seems to like it round here."
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