Scudamore says: “The closer I get to the race the more I think Djakadam will win”
A friend of mine has driven me up and back each day so it’s been very relaxing really. Basically after racing I get into the car, fall asleep, waking up still in the car park, and then eventually getting home. Then I have something to eat and go to bed. It’s the same as any other day really. In some ways it’s nice to get home and sleep in my own bed each night but then I go to Liverpool and it’s good fun too. Basically I can sleep anywhere. Sleeping isn’t a problem.
I haven’t got a ride in the Triumph Hurdle and I don’t really have a view on the race. The horses that have come from the Flat are now getting their ground so it’s very difficult to know which horse will emerge on top.
I ride Starchitect in the County Hurdle. He ran a big race in his first run of the season at Newbury. He’s hopefully come on a bit from that run and the form took a boost when the third horse that day won the Imperial Cup last Saturday. I’m going into the race very hopeful of a big run. The horse has had a month off since his last run and David knows how to prepare for these big races, so he’ll be ready to roll.
I ride Champers On Ice in the Albert Bartlett. If we’d had a bit of rain I’d fancy his chances. The step up to three miles and the course will suit him but the ground might just be too quick for him. I like Shantou Village in the race. He’d be the one that I would ride if I wasn’t riding Champers On Ice.
The Gold Cup is a brilliant race. The closer I get to the race the more I think Djakadam will win, even on the ground. He’s won good races over two and a half miles so has speed, and I just hope he’s recovered from his fall last time. They know what they’re doing. I have the utmost respect for all of them. Don Cossack will like the drying ground but I don’t take the view that he would have won the King George if he’d stood up. The one horse I would live to see win is Cue Card. He’s a ten year old in great form and I can see him running a big race.
Sprinter Sacre proved that age is no barrier to big race success on Wednesday. It was one of those performances where everyone came out to clap him back in. It was a pleasure to be here to see him win and was probably one of the greatest ever training performances. To get a horse back from the problems he had is just incredible.
It’s going to be interesting watching Victoria Pendleton ride in the Foxhunter. I have spoken about it before, but what she has achieved is quite outstanding. Personally I think it might be a year sooner than ideal to ride in the race but she won’t be the worst rider in the race that’s for sure. I have nothing but the utmost respect for what she’s doing. She’s a sportswoman so she’ll know what she’s doing but my main advice would be just to concentrate on getting a good start and getting over those first couple of fences, and the rest will look after itself.
I ride last year’s winner on Next Sensation for my brother in the Grand Annual. It is very hard to win any race at the Festival let alone win back-to-back races. He comes here in good fettle and we are confident and hopeful of a big run from him. He seems in very good order. It was soft ground last year and I was worried about how he’d go on it. Indeed we thought about taking him out because of it, and yet he still won. We’ve always thought he’s better on better ground.
When it’s all over and I get home on Friday night it always feels a bit empty and a bit flat. It’s a strange feeling although partly dependent on whether you’ve had a good week or a bad week. Then it’s on to the Midlands National where I ride Katkeau. We just keep moving forward.