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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Easy for Easter at HuntingdonHeadlines
Paul Nicholls

Jockey Daryl Jacob feels Easter Day could be the perfect type to excel at Aintree in April after he strolled to victory in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Huntingdon.

The Paul Nicholls-trained youngster was a standout on the formbook, having finished second to Jonjo O'Neill's Taquin De Seuil in a Grade One at Newbury. Because of that he was sent off the 4-9 favourite for the race better known as the Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle - despite giving plenty of weight away to all his rivals.

Jacob had already won on the five-year-old at Fontwell and Ascot and took his tally to three from three on him with an all-the-way four-length success over Nataani. Nicholls had taken him out of the Cheltenham novice events earlier in the week, but Jacob feels Aintree could be perfect for him.

Jacob said: "He's a very good novice. I'm three from three on him now and he did it well.

"It wasn't ideal making all the running on him but when we realised nothing else would go on we decided to just keep it as straightforward as possible. He'd won over further so I was prepared to go on. He'll have learned a lot. He's not going to Cheltenham so I imagine it will be Aintree for him. That should suit him well there as it's usually lovely ground."

Jacob had earlier won on David Arbuthnot's Rocky Elsom in the TurfTV Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

Sent off at 9-2, he had only been put up 3lb for a Plumpton win and there appears to be more to come still. Punters would do well to keep in mind when Jacob teams up with Arbuthnot as the pair now operate at a strike-rate of over 25%.

Jacob added: "I've got a good strike-rate to keep up for David so it was nice to win. Rocky is improving and the better ground is helping him. The tongue-tie obviously makes a difference and he's on an upward curve. The front two pulled a long way clear."

With the Cheltenham Festival rapidly approaching, Nicky Henderson showcased that his string are peaking at just the right time with another double.

Fresh from two winners at Doncaster 24 hours earlier, Henderson was on the mark with Tetlami (11-10 favourite) in the Huntingdon Racecourse Novices' Chase and Miss Ballantyne (3-1) in the racinguk.com Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

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