Jockey Daryl Jacob is confident leading Champion Hurdle contender Peace And Co will get back on track in Saturday’s Contenders Hurdle at Sandown.
Unbeaten last season en route to winning the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, Peace And Co put a sizeable blot on his copybook in his reappearance at Cheltenham in December.
Odds-on favourite to win the International Hurdle, the Nicky Henderson-trained runner was a law unto himself as he pulled Jacob into an early lead and expended so much energy that he had nothing left to give in the finish – trailing home a distant last of six runners.
Henderson has insisted he is willing to draw a line under that run and Jacob is now adopting the same stance, reaffirming his belief that the five-year-old will show his true colours at Sandown before moving on towards the Champion Hurdle next month.
“I’m definitely able to forget his last run,” Jacob told the Racing Post.
“He was too keen and free and I’m putting a line through that and not expecting any of that freshness this time. I’m hoping he’ll put up a great performance and show everyone the horse who was so good when he won the Triumph.”
The Willie Mullins-trained Sempre Medici finished second to Old Guard in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham on the afternoon Peace And Co supporters would rather forget and he looks set to re-oppose come Saturday.
Any hopes Henderson has that Peace And Co can lay down a challenge to Sempre Medici’s stablemate Faugheen at Cheltenham in the Champion Hurdle on March 15 will surely be reliant on getting the better of that rival at Sandown.
Faugheen is 1.36 to retain the Champion Hurdle while Peace And Co can be backed at 15.00 to win the two-mile championship contest.