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Scudamore looking forward to Starchitect at Newbury

| 13.02.2016

I ride Batavir in the 1.50pm at Newbury. He’s got to bounce back from a disappointing run last time but I see no reason why he can’t. If you ignore that last run he’s got a cracking chance. I just don’t know why he ran so badly last time at Cheltenham on ground he should have handled and conditions he should have handled. Nothing came to light afterwards.

He was beaten a long way out. I was left scratching my head after the race. He had run a blinder at Haydock in the Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle up there. He has always been there or thereabouts in his races. If you ignored his last run he’d nearly be favourite in this race but he has got to bounce back.

Gevrey Chambertin is carrying top weight and would have a squeak with the blinkers back on. He won at Lingfield on heavy ground. He had come down in the weights and won nicely there but then bombed out at Chepstow last time. He has a chance on bits of form but he’s not the most consistent.

In the Denman Chase at 3.00pm I ride Ballynagour. He has had his issues in the past but when he’s right he’s very good and he should take the beating in this. He is my best ride of the day, 7lbs clear on official ratings. On the form of his Charlie Hall third, on his Prix La Barka win, on his second to Silviniaco Conti, he’d win this race. But on his run in the King George or the Betfair Chase he won’t. It really depends on what kind of day it is for him tomorrow.

He can be quite keen so I’ll just try and get him settled. He’s a horse I normally ride patiently and will switch him off. A lot depends on how he is going down to the start, and how quickly and how easily he settles. When he does settle and switches off, it is usually when he runs his better races. I think Newbury will suit him. He’s run there once in the Newbury and was pulled up but there were excuses that day. He is giving all the right signs at home, but then he’s done that before too and run poorly on the track. He is one of those horses, and has been very tricky to train. David has done an incredible job top keep bringing him back year after year, and finding his best form, as he runs below form one day and then runs the race of his life somewhere. He’s been a wonderful servant for the yard. Let’s hope he can win another nice race.

In the Betfair Hurdle at 3.35pm I’m on Starchitect. I schooled him earlier in the week and was very happy with him. He ran a brilliant fourth at Cheltenham in the Fred Winter and was running a nice race at Aintree when he fell. The nature and demands of this race will suit him and I’m looking forward to riding him. They will go a mad, furious gallop in this race as they always do. With Sternrubin in the race it won’t be for the faint hearted. The fact that my horse has run in those big field handicaps at such a tender age will stand him in good stead. I’m hopeful of a decent run. In this race the only way you could be over confident is if you are riding a Make A Stand or a My Tent Or Yours, and look what they went and did afterwards. It’s the type of race that throws up Champion Hurdle contenders, a hurdle version of the Hennessy Gold Cup in a way. I’m very happy with our fellow and hope he puts up a cracking performance.

I have some really good rides at Exeter on Sunday. I hope it’s on as I hope to have a winner or two. Buckthorn Timothy runs in a four runner race and I’d hope he would have a decent chance. Dell ‘Arca runs over three miles in the Pertemps Qualifier. I’ve always wanted to ride him over three miles. He’s handicapped to the hilt but I’m hoping the three mile trip can bring out some improvement. He’s only won a couple of races but he’s been a wonderful old servant, and never let us down. I’m looking forward to riding him.
Shotavodka runs in the Veterans Chase. I rode him to win a nice race at Haydock a while back and he’s gone from being a fast two mile hurdler to being a staying chaser and has been a great horse to ride.

Good luck






Tom Scudamore

Tom Scudamore is a third-generation British flat and steeplechase jockey. He is the son of eight-time champion jockey Peter Scudamore; his grandfather Michael won the Grand National on Oxo in 1959. Tom provides Coral with all the latest insight and thoughts on his next rides.