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Jockey Daryl Jacob will be aiming to repeat his Aintree success of 2012 when he partners Bristol De Mai in the 2021 Randox Grand National on Saturday afternoon.
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Grand National 2021: Daryl Jacob eyeing a second National victory
Daryl Jacob famously won the 2012 Grand National by the narrowest of margins aboard Neptune Collonges and in the 2021 renewal of the race he teams up with another grey in the form of 25/1 shot Bristol De Mai.
The 10-year-old triumphed in his third Betway Chase in November at Haydock Park and he put in a solid performance when finishing second behind Native River in the Cotswold Chase at Sandown two months ago. He will be carrying top weight in the Grand National on Saturday afternoon but despite this Jacob is confident that he will once again put in an impressive display.
The jockey said: “Bristol De Mai is in very good form. “He schooled very nicely for me last week and has worked very nicely at home recently.
“Everyone seems very happy with him. Obviously it is a big task carrying top-weight over an extended four miles, but he has been a wonderful servant to us and he is one of the class horses in the race.
“Bristol De Mai has been a lovely jumper since he came over France. He schooled nicely over Aintree-type fences last week and I was very happy with what I saw.
“Hopefully we have a clear round and he won’t be too far away. Neptune Collonges fitted the same sort of bill in that he was a classy horse bringing top form to the table, having finished in the placings in a Gold Cup. He may have even won more Grade Ones if he was not in the Denman and Kauto Star era.
“Bristol De Mai is exactly the same in that he has boasts top-class form into the race. He gets three miles on a flat track around Haydock very well. Obviously, you’re never sure until you run over it, but hopefully he can stay the trip. I believe he will and I will ride him as if he will stay the trip.
“You never know until you go to the well, but I would be hopeful he’ll stay with a flat track sure to play to his strengths. I don’t think quicker ground will be a problem. If it is good to soft, good in places, I would be very happy.
“If it was four miles in heavy ground running off top-weight, I think that would be a massive ask. Bristol De Mai goes in nice ground and I don’t think an extended four miles on testing ground would be a plus for him.
“Every horse is a rival in the Grand National. You have to beat every horse in the race. We’ve seen the likes of Mon Mome and Auroras Encore win the race at big prices in the past and just look at earlier this week with a 150/1 winner of the Irish Grand National. Any horse can win it, so Cloth Cap is one of 39 other dangers. It’s going to be a very tough race.”