By Simon Jackson.
Daryl Jacob has been confirmed as the rider of 2014 winner Pineau De Re in the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree on April 11.
Jacob has been called in to replace last year’s winning jockey, Leighton Aspell, who has opted to partner 25-1 shot Many Clouds, who this season won the Hennessy Gold Cup and BetBright Cup Chase before finishing sixth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Jacob is targeting a second win in the Grand National following his victory on Neptune Collonges in 2012 and believes he has a good chance in this year’s race on Pineau De Re who is priced at 25-1 with Betfred.
“It’s obviously very exciting to be riding last year’s winner,” Jacob said.
“At the start of the season I was riding quite a few for Richard [Newland – trainer] and I rode this horse over hurdles at Cheltenham.
“It’s a big advantage to be riding a horse who has been around Aintree before, and it’s an even bigger advantage to be riding a horse who’s won there before.
“I’m going to have a sit on him on Wednesday morning, which will be great, and I’m really looking forward to riding him.
“I think it’s a really open Grand National this year and he must go there with as a good a chance as any of them.
“I’ll be going there full of confidence.”
Pineau De Re’s trainer, Dr Richard Newland, was similarly upbeat about his chances when asked at the northern media launch for the 2015 Grand National last week.
“It has been a different campaign,” Newland said of Pineau De Re who at his last start finished 11th of 23 runners in the Listed Pertemps Final hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. “Last year, we had to get in the race and so we raced him a lot to get him qualified.
“This season we have always known he was going to be in the race and we have been trying to get him there in one piece. We have deliberately gone slowly, slowly.
“I think at one stage, I was going too slowly. I have been happy with his last two runs. Not many National winners are running in the Pertemps Final over hurdles and he is twice the age of most of runners and giving weight away.
“Pineau is a superb horse and it is a great privilege to train him. I am sure he will run a very good race.”
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