sport

Nicholls calls on new jockey

Sam Twiston-Davies is to replace Daryl Jacob as stable jockey to champion trainer Paul Nicholls next season.

Announcing the news in his Betfair column, Nicholls said there had been "no falling out" with Jacob, who is currently sidelined with an injury suffered in a freak accident at the Cheltenham Festival.

Having made his name riding for this father Nigel at their Naunton base, Twiston-Davies has partnered a number of high-profile horses for Nicholls in recent months, including Big Buck's and Tidal Bay.

The Ditcheat trainer said the ride on King George VI winner Silviniaco Conti would remain with Noel Fehily, and that Twiston-Davies would continue to ride his father's Champion Hurdle third The New One.

Nicholls said: "Sam Twiston-Davies will be the number one stable jockey at Ditcheat next season.

"He will have the pick of our team, with the exception that Noel (Fehily) keeps the ride on Silviniaco Conti. But it is also a two-way street as regards the top horses, and we have agreed that Sam will continue to partner The New One for his father for next season.

"I told Daryl (Jacob) of the decision on Friday, when I also offered him the number two job. He then took the weekend to think it through, and he came back to me today to say that he would rather go freelance.

"But I have to stress that there has been no falling out, and Daryl will continue to ride out and school a couple of times a week here next season, and will ride for us when the opportunities arise, which I am sure they will.

"Nick (Scholfield) will be our number two, and I am also keen to give Harry (Derham) more rides. Both are young jockeys who have done well for us this season and, with Sam, Noel and Daryl, I would like to think that we have a very strong hand on the jockey front.

"And, with so many big meetings clashing and the inevitable injuries, you need a strong squad of jockeys to call upon."

Jacob enjoyed his biggest day in the saddle when winning the 2012 Grand National at Aintree on the Nicholls-trained Neptune Collonges, famously beating Sunnyhillboy by a nose at the end of four and a half miles.

Stressing he remains close friends with Nicholls, Jacob told Press Association Sport: "That's the decision we have come to, we've been speaking about it for a while.

"Sam has gone in there to be number one, Paul offered me the job as number two but at this point in my career I feel I want to go freelance, I will be available for more rides and hopefully some good rides.

"I'm very positive about what I am doing.

"I have had a great four years at Ditcheat, I won a National for Paul and had a couple of Cheltenham Festival winners and it's been great to be part of the team to win the championship back for Paul.

"We are the best of friends, we are great friends and always will be.

"I'm hoping to ride for Paul in the future. I get on great with Paul and the owners have been very supportive.

"I just felt at this time this is what I wanted to do. As my old boss Robert Alner always said, tomorrow is another day."