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Lac Fontana gives Daryl Jacob the winner he craved in the County Hurdle

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Cheltenham Festival:
Lac Fontana gives Jacob much-needed winner

Report: Cheltenham Festival, Friday

Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m1f 5yo+ New course

FINALLY the sun shone on Daryl Jacob at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival when he forgot a run of mishaps to drive Lac Fontana to a narrow success over Arctic Fire, ridden by David Casey in place of the injured Ruby Walsh.

Jacob, who was to be badly injured when his mount in a later race crashed through a running rail, had been narrowly denied on Katgary in the Fred Winter on the second day of the meeting.

Then on day three he was left in tears when touched off by a nose on Southfield Theatre in a frantic finish to the Pertemps Network Final.

To add to his run of ill luck, in Friday's opening JCB Triumph Hurdle he was left riding rodeo when a stirrup leather appeared to break on Calipto, the 11-2 favourite, although managing to secure fourth place.

So when success came it meant plenty to Jacob and to trainer Paul Nicholls, for whom Jacob is number-one rider.

"I'm really pleased for him," said Nicholls, who was getting off the mark for the festival.

"I told him to go out there and give it everything and this will win. He's given it a great ride. I knew he would stay on up the hill.

"It has been a tough week for him and he is an emotional guy but he will be like a different jockey now. We've just been unlucky but that is what it is like here, it is little margins that make the difference."

Jacob was gaining his second festival success after Zarkandar in the Triumph Hurdle as he drove home Lac Fontana at 11-1 from Arctic Fire at 7-1. Montbazon was third at 20-1 with Diakali fourth at 25-1.

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