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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Three things we learned on day one of the Grand National meeting

Daryl Jacob passes the Aintree winning post for the second time on Thursday on L'Ami Serge
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What Thursday's action at Aintree told us that could be key to Friday's card

Jacob not to be underestimated

Daryl Jacob had another frustrating Cheltenham Festival but Aintree has already changed his fortunes with two winners and a second for his retaining owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.

Jacob was in bullish mood after the first winner We Have A Dream, who had to miss Cheltenham with a temperature, remarking: "I've got some good rides this week on horses who missed out at Cheltenham which might be a godsend."

And he could not hide his excitement about his Randox Health Grand National ride Ucello Conti: "I wish the National was today; he has got a great chance."

So have a few of his other rides over the next two days, starting with another horse who missed Cheltenham in the impressive Dovecote winner Global Citizen, backed up by his owners' Cheltenham runner-up Terrefort and Polidam, who has waited for the Topham. All in all Jacob could end up the meetings' top jockey.   

Rely on the formbook

That seems to be the safest bet with all the talk about whether running at Cheltenham takes the edge off here or whether it pays to rely on those who missed the Festival to wait for this meeting.

Might Bite disproved one argument while We Have A Dream seemed to neatly put the other side of the debate. What is clearer is both had the form in the book to do what they did.

Dismiss Tizzard at your peril

A year ago Colin Tizzard was the meeting's leading trainer with five winners. This season stable form has not been so consistent and he came without Cue Card, but this is a stable that lives for the big days.

He still got in first strike with Finian's Oscar, who returned to his previous Grade 1 form. It was equally noticeable that his two runners in the late Alan and Anne Potts' colours ran really good races.

Sizing Codelco, rank outsider in the Betway Bowl and equally out of form, outran his odds in a good fourth before Sizing Platinum plugged on late in the Red Rum.

Tizzard has seven Aintree runners on Friday and The Dutchman in the Grand National.

Results, analysis and replays

I wish the National was today; he has got a great chance
E.W. Terms
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