3 Jockeys Nominated for First Stobart Jockey of the Month of the Jumps Season
The Stobart Jockey of the Month prize returns for the first edition of the 2018/19 jumps season, with Daryl Jacob, Paddy Brennan and Harry Skelton all nominated for stellar months.
Jacob won the Betfair Chase, the first leg of the Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown, with a stunning ride on Bristol De Mai at Haydock on 24 November.
Meanwhile Brennan had a hugely impressive 496/1 three-timer at the November meeting at Cheltenham on 16 November and Skelton had an incredible 277/1 five-timer at Uttoxeter the following day.
Ahead of the Betfair Chase last month, much of the talk was about star horses Native River and Might Bite following their enthralling race in the Timico Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March, and Bristol De Mai went off at odds of 13/2 despite winning the same race by 57 lengths last year.
However as the race began it became apparent that Bristol De Mai was eager to keep his Betfair Chase crown and four fences from home he took the lead and stretched away from the rest of the pack, under an expert ride from Jacob.
It's back-to-back wins in the Betfair Chase for Bristol De Mai as he fends off his four rivals in the Grade One contest. 👏
— Haydock Park Races (@haydockraces) November 24, 2018
And Jacob, 35, revealed he was happy to be an underdog ahead of the race and that the 32 Red King George VI Chase is next on the agenda for the seven-year-old grey.
“Obviously all the talk before the race was about Native River and Might Bite after their ding-dong battle in the Gold Cup, but we knew ourselves what wanted to do and it didn’t derail our plans,” Jacob said.
“You can never be too confident before a race like the Betfair Chase, but I knew going back to Haydock that Bristol De Mai was three from three there and every time he’s run at that course he’s been impressive. I knew our lad would put up a massive run and that whatever the outcome there wouldn’t be much between us and Native River or Might Bite.
“Thankfully my lad did a fantastic job, he was very fit and jumped the fences very nicely. Mr Twiston-Davies had him in incredible condition and that showed heading into the latter stages of the race.
“We’re going to go to the King George VI, unfortunately he was below par there last year. If he turns up in the form he did at Haydock, he’ll be fresh, as it’s only his second run of the year. Judging from the form he was in Haydock, I think he’s got a great chance.”
November was a month to remember for Brennan. Just days after celebrating the birth of his third child, daughter Chloe, he recorded a sensational 496/1 treble on 16 November at Cheltenham.
Brennan, 37, started his treble with 33/1-shot Red Hot Chilly, an unlikely win, and followed that up with stunning rides on Bun Doran (trained by Tom George) and Coolanly. Red Hot Chilly and Coolanly are trained by Fergal O’Brien, with whom Brennan shares a good relationship with and has provided him with 20 of his 38 winners thus far in the Stobart Jump Jockeys’ Championship.
Brennan was delighted with his November for many reasons, in which he also won the bwin Haldon Cup on God’s Own at Exeter, and described being nominated for the first Stobart Jockey of the Month of the jumps season as ‘an honour’.
“I got the month off to a great start, winning the Haldon Cup at Exeter. My wife then gave birth to my daughter Chloe, which is perfect as I’ve already got two boys,” Brennan said.
WHAT A RACE! 🙌👏
— Exeter Racecourse (@ExeterRaces) November 6, 2018
“I then went to Cheltenham with three rides on the Friday of the November meeting and thought I had a good chance in one, maybe two of the races, so to come away with a three-timer was incredible.
“The first one (Red Hot Chilly) was a 33/1 shot, I might have had a bit of luck but the horse performed out of its skin, and after that everything went right for me on the day.
What a day for Paddy Brennan!
He guides Coolanly to success in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) and completes a treble! 👏 pic.twitter.com/del8m4g59L
— CheltenhamRacecourse (@CheltenhamRaces) November 16, 2018
“Cheltenham is my favourite track in the world, not just in UK. To ride three from three there was one of the best days I’ve had in my career, I really enjoyed it.
“The competition is so high at the moment in the Stobart Jump Jockeys’ Championship, the jockeys are improving and getting better all of the time. Daryl and Harry are top jockeys, so to be nominated alongside them for Jockey of the Month is an honour.”
Skelton has had a flying start to his season, reaching 100 winners in the Stobart Jump Jockeys’ Championship in the quickest time so far in his career on 2 November, and his month continued to get even better as he secured a miraculous 277/1 five-timer at Uttoxeter on 17 November.
Skelton, 29, won all of his five rides at the Staffordshire track, on board horses Beakstown, Crosspark, Tokay Dokey, Molly The Dolly and Premier Rose. Harry’s brother Dan trains four of the five horses, while Crosspark is trained by Northampton-based trainer Caroline Bailey.
Skelton emphasised how difficult it is to win five-timers in the winter and praised the trainers for providing him with the ammunition for a ‘dream’ day.
He said: “I obviously went to Uttoxeter on the day and had some good rides, I was hoping for a winner or two but you don’t even dream of five wins. It was also five wins from five rides which is really quite special. Not many jockeys have ridden five-timers in their careers.
“In the winter in jumps racing it’s like match play golf sometimes, you get one winner here, one winner there, so to ride five-timers is very difficult, it doesn’t really happen. Even to come home with a treble is very hard.
“You need everything to go right in every race. I was getting more confident as the day went on, and my last ride I gave the horse (Premier Rose) plenty to do, but I gave her every chance of finishing well and she really delivered. It’s a pleasure riding for trainers like Dan and Caroline because they don’t give me any instructions and let me go out and race my own race.”