horse racing

Who needs Ruby!

OK, that’s a hugely over the top comment from myself! Mr Walsh oozes class when on-board most racehorses and its no secret that when teaming up with the Champion trainer Paul Nicholls the 2 are a fearsome combination. However, Ruby is not always available when Paul Nicholls needs him (injury has been the main problem in recent seasons!) and has has made no secret of his admiration for the talented Daryl Jacob. So much is Nicholls faith in Jacob he offered the Somerset based jockey the post as second jockey at Ditcheat.

So far this faith in the young jockey has been handsomely repaid, none more so than when Jacobs landed last seasons Triumph Hurdle on the classy ZARKANDAR.

This season Jacob has been the jockey Nicholls has turned towards the most and the early season figures already look pretty tasty –

Nicholls/Jacob combo 2011/12 – 18/49 | 37% S/R | +£14.12 BFLSP

*All Figures sourced from the excellent Proform database

If we take into account the full details of the partnership (including previous seasons) we are still left with an extremely solid set of figures –

Nicholls/Jacob combo overall figures – 26/93 | 28% S/R | +£23.62 BFLSP – Win & Place 46/93 | 49% S/R

As far as ‘second-string’ jockeys go Jacob is proving to be quite a catch.

The sweet spots……


The figures are telling us he is hitting the target with more regularity over the smaller obstacles and as far as profits are concerned it certainly pays to follow  the pair over timber –

Hurdle – 13/38 | 34% S/R | +£36.98 BFLSP | +97% ROI

Chase – 11/50 | 22% S/R | -£13.98 BFLSP | -28% ROI

NHF – 2/5 | 40% S/R | +£0.62 BFLSP | +12% ROI

We certainly should not be discounting  the other codes but at the moment the pair are proving to be fairly lethal over hurdles.

Class of race

There are some very interesting figures at play when we delve into the different class of race for the Nicholls/Jacob combo. The higher up the class scale we climb the lesser the impact the 2 have.

Look at the comparison between Class 1 level (the top grade) and class 3 and 4 levels –

Nicholls/Jacob combo at Class 1 level – 2/21 | 10% | -£1.80 BFLSP

Nicholls/Jacob combo at Class 3 & 4 levels – 19/53 | 36% | +£32.29 BFLSP

Could this simply be down to the fact Jacob really has to play second fiddle to Ruby Walsh at the top level and what he is in fact riding at that grade are the stables ‘lesser’ top class performers? It could well be that but there must be every reason to believe that if he keeps doing what he is doing he will get more chances like ZARKANDAR (his 2 wins at the top level for Nicholls) as this partnership flourishes.

At the moment it appears that us punters should be concentrating our efforts at a slightly lower level when looking to back the combo, at least until the figures start telling us otherwise.


At the moment there are only a couple of ‘stand-out’ tracks for us to look at –

Nicholls/Jacob combo at Worcester – 7/12 | 58% S/R | +£17.15 BFLSP | ROI +208%

Nicholls/Jacob combo at Kempton – 3/4 | 75% S/R | +£13.72 BFLSP | ROI +343%

The Kempton figures are decidedly threadbare at the minute but there is nothing to say they won’t continue in this manner, an angle to keep in mind for sure.

Worcester on the other hand has slightly more beef behind the stats and the 58% S/R is very eye-catching. Unfortunately there is only 1 more fixture at the track this season but it is an angle to keep in the notebook for future notice.

Handicaps or Non-Handicaps

A mammoth 20 of Jacob’s 26 winners for Nicholls have come in non-handicap races. This possibly heightens Nicholls superiority in these types of races more than the jockey’s riding talents but he still has to get the horses home and he certainly isn’t letting his boss down on that score –

Nicholls/Jacob combo in Non-Handicap races – 20/56 | 36% S/R | +£17.15 BFLSP – Win & Place 32/56 | 57% S/R

Both win and win & place strike-rates are supremely eye-catching and the pair are worthy of following in this sphere.

Running Style

A bit more of obscure this one but it possibly goes someone to showing how tactically adept Jacob is becoming as a jockey.

Take a look at Jacob’s record when riding one of Paul Nicholls horses from the front i.e. when he is on a front-runner –

Jacob riding a Nicholls front-runner – 8/11 | 73% S/R | +£8.78 BFLSP | ROI 80%

By anyone’s estimations those are impressive figures! It’s not often Jacob will try and make all on one of Nicholls runners but when he does he generally gets it right on the money.

In reality the partnership are just out of the embryonic stages but the figures more than suggest they are well on the way to forging a successful and profitable (for them and us!) partnership. If we punters are willing to dig a little deeper then we can make it pay for us even more.

Who needs Ruby indeed!!


Narrowing the Field – National Hunt Subscription Service 2011/12 – Doors close this Friday

I’ve had a number of emails this past week regarding my forthcoming National Hunt service (apologies if I am yet to reply to anyone, I like to respond to all emails so I assure you I will get round to everyone). One thing many of you want to know is whether or not NTF is a tipping service. I want to stress here, as strongly as possible, that NTF is categorically NOT a tipping service.

During my many years of following the gee-gees (I know I’m not that old but trust me I was sneaking into the North East of Scotland’s smoke filled bookies long before I should have been!!) I’ve always been much more in need of excellent trends, statistics and angles that I can utilise than I have the services of a tipster or someone promising me I can retire at the end of the season on their profits!

I like to think the vast majority of NTF followers are like myself – more captivated by information they can work with to produce their own selections (if they so wish) than they are in receiving selections from a tipster with no background information whatsoever on why X will win race X. The NTF subscription service is about precisely that – conveying serious racing punters with First-Class alternative angles and guides that are basically not available from other sources.

More information on the service is available on the following link –

Best regards

Ben (NTF)


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