Daryl Jacob made special mention of his former boss, the late Robert Alner, as he reflected on the first five-timer of his career at Wincanton.
Jacob joined Alner on his arrival from Ireland, and the Dorset trainer played an important part in the early stages of his riding career. He will forever remember those days in the early 2000s, progressing from point-to-points to his first Grade One triumph on The Listener in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in 2006.
Alner was paralysed in a car accident in 2007 but carried on training in a joint licence with his wife Sally, until they retired in 2010. Alner died last February, aged 76.
“I’ve had a few four-timers when I was riding for the boss and Sally Alner point-to-pointing. They were always very good days, and days I will never forget. They were the grass roots,” said Jacob.
“The boss would have been looking down yesterday and he would have been very proud of me – especially being at his local track as well.”
Appropriately, the first of Jacob’s five winners on Saturday was for Alner’s son-in-law Robert Walford, on Ede’iffs Elton in a staying handicap chase.
“The boss had plenty of nice winners at Wincanton, and I had a nice winner for Rob Walford there yesterday. That was great as well,” he said.
“He was part of our old set-up down at the Alners with the boss and Sally, so it was very pleasing to ride Rob a winner at his local track as well.”
That victory got the ball rolling – with Alan King’s Messire Des Obeaux, the Paul Nicholls-trained Capeland, Ben Pauling’s Anightinlambourn and Jackson Hill, from Milton Harris’ stable, doing their bit to complete Jacob’s golden day.
“All the horses performed well. I had some nice rides going into the day, so it was great it all came together,” he added.
“It’s a nice feat – five winners for five different trainers and lovely horses. I was particularly impressed with Messire Des Obeaux. It was fantastic for him to win the Dipper after all the injuries he’s had.
“I just think credit to Alan King and his team for what they’ve done for this horse. He’s still retains plenty of ability.”