The Inside Track: Top jockeys set for different race agendas

Ruby Walsh
Ruby Walsh

During Derby week there was some significant movement between big name jockeys both on the Flat and over the jumps.

Frankie Dettori returned after a six-month ban at Epsom on Friday after deliberations with the French authority, France Galop, to arrange the date for his return following an aborted comeback at Leicester ten days prior.

He is the face of horse racing to many members of the public and regardless of varied opinions surrounding the ban, he is most definitely good for bringing the sport into the public eye.

Where one top class rider returns, one has decided to cut down his British workload significantly.

That man is Ruby Walsh, who has chosen to focus on riding in Ireland and for his retainer over there, Willie Mullins.

More importantly, he has a very young family and is going to spend a lot more time with his children and therefore will only ride for Nicholls when he can.

Horses that have built up this much-publicised working relationship include five-time King George hero Kauto Star; dual Hennessey Gold Cup and Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman, dual Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Master Minded and four-time World Hurdle winner Big Buck’s.

It has been a remarkable and dominant 11-year partnership on the whole, but recently, the emergence of superstars from Nicky Henderson’s Seven Barrows yard, such as Simonsig and Sprinter Sacre, has meant that Nicholls has lost his trainer’s title and is now playing catch-up to tackle the Seven Barrows battalion.

Daryl Jacob will take up the stable jockey position for Paul Nicholls and will have big shoes to fill for sure.

However, Jacob already has Grand National on his CV for this stable and will be a great replacement for Walsh.

Daryl has been with the Nicholls yard for two seasons now having previously ridden for Nick Williams.

The 29-year-old has had many good days already for the Ditcheat handler, most notably riding Triumph Hurdle winner Zarkandar.

He won the Bet365 Gold Cup on Tidal Bay in 2012 and the Celebration Chase at Ascot on the enigmatic Sanctuaire.

Look out for him right here at Doncaster when we’re back over the jumps in November.

For our next raceday, Family Fun Day on Sunday June 16, celebrity swine of the moment – Peppa Pig – will be taking some time out of her hectic schedule to entertain fans.

Among the action on offer, kids can enjoy face painting stalls and fairground rides.

For more details of what’s in store visit our website: www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk.