Jacob suffers multiple injuries

An eventful day ended prematurely for Daryl Jacob yesterday with the jockey suffering multiple injuries in a freak accident prior to the Albert Bartlett Novice’s Hurdle and he now faces a lengthy spell off the track.

Jacob suffers multiple injuries

The Wexford jockey was beaten by a nose in the Pertemps Network Final and saw his chances of claiming the JCB Triumph Hurdle ruined when Calipto’s stirrups were broken in the fall that left Ruby Walsh with a broken arm.

His luck — and that of trainer Paul Nicholls for whom he is retained rider — then appeared to change with their first victory of the week in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle on board 11/1 shot Lac Fontana.

His troubles were only just beginning.

Port Melon, Jacobs’ mount for the County Hurdle,attempted to jump the rails separating the racecourse from the Best Mate Enclosure prior to the off sending the jockey crashing to the ground beside a Channel 4 cameraman.

Channel 4 subsequently reported that Jacobs had attempted to get up but was placed on a stretcher instead.

He was treated immediately by doctors and paramedics and treated on the spot which caused a considerable delay to the rest of the day’s races.

“It’s not great news, I’m afraid,” said Nicholls who also trains Port Melon.

“It’s been confirmed at the hospital he’s broken his knee, his leg and his elbow. He’s going to be operated on.

“It’s devastating for him and is going to put him out for a while. I’ve seen the video of the incident and it’s horrific.

“Obviously, he’s desperately disappointed, but I’m glad he rode that winner on Lac Fontana. He’s in good spirits, but it’s terrible news having an injury like that.”

The jockey was taken to Cheltenham Hospital for a further assessment.

Jacob had earlier produced Lac Fontana (11-1) with a perfectly-timed run on the nearside rail to collar Arctic Fire up the hill and land the spoils by half a length in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap.

Montbazon, who led over the final flight, was a length back in third with Diakali fourth.

Jacob said: “It’s been a very testing week for us all.

“It’s a good team effort from everyone and at the end of the day there can only be one winner. You can only keep looking forward.

“We’re all thinking about the guys that are injured, like Jason (Maguire), Bryan (Cooper), now Ruby (Walsh) and of course JP (McNamara) but this is the place we all want to win.”

He added of the winner: “He’s very, very tough and he kept finding all the way.”

Nicholls said: “It’s been so frustrating (trying to get a winner during the week). Daryl probably needed that more than anyone really, he was on a real down and that will be just what he wanted.

“I told him to just get out there, put everything behind him and that this will win, you have to be positive.

“I told him he’ll stay on up the hill and he gave him a peach.

“He’s quite an emotional guy and you need a bit of luck, he’ll be a different rider now.

“That was magic, just what we wanted.”

Nick Peacock owns the Willie Mullins-trained pair of Arctic Fire and Diakali, who finished second and fourth, and said: [“It’s frustrating to be second but he has run a blinder.

“He has been waiting for that sort of ground and hopefully there’s something for him at Aintree or Punchestown.

“Diakali was conceding a lot of weight but ran a great race and just needs a bit further.”

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