Tom Scudamore on Moon Racer and Thistlecrack
Moon Racer came up to Perth on Tuesday, and stretched his legs on Wednesday morning. I’ve sat on him a lot. He’s been in most of the summer because he had such a long time off the track. There was no need to turn him out over the summer. He’s had plenty of schooling and been kept ticking over and he’s ready for his run. It’s great to have him back and it’s great for Perth to have the last two Champion Bumper winners taking each-other on.
It was disappointing he got beaten at Punchestown but he was a bit unlucky not to still be unbeaten. The race didn’t pan out for him, and maybe he was beaten by a better horse, but I think he was unlucky.
My plan would ideally be to jump well and win hard on the bridle. He’s an older novice than the other horses in the race thanks to time he’s had off, and we are hoping he’ll put up the kind of performance we know he’s capable of. He’s been well schooled and we just ran out of time to run him first time over hurdles in the Supreme Novices Hurdle last year. He’s done everything right at home and now he’s just got to do it on the track.
Looking ahead I don’t think he’d want it too quick but other than that I think he handles any other ground. He’s won on heavy ground and at the Festival it was more good to soft and he put up a brilliant performance. I think he’s a special horse and I hope he has a clean run now and shows the world what he can do.
I’ve been in to ride Thistlecrack a few times, and just put him through his paces. We are going to start schooling him soon and he’s been earmarked to run in a few weeks’ time at Chepstow. He has been schooled in the past, this time last year. So I have no fear that he won’t be a good jumper, and I’m hoping he’ll be at least as good over fences as he is over hurdles.
The best trainers of chasers that I’ve ridden for are David Pipe and Nigel Twiston-Davies. They don’t wait to do their schooling until a horse is moving from hurdles to chases. They prepare them from a young age. As youngsters you wouldn’t believe how much schooling horses get so that when it comes to going over hurdles, and then over fences, they’ve learned the basics. If you get the basics right when they are young, it is amazing how little they need to do schooling when they are older. Some horses may take a bit longer, and some that aren’t natural at home. Dynaste was never a natural at home but once you got him to the track he was brilliant. You can have horses that are brilliant at home, and then jump terribly on the track.
It’s great that two of my big guns for the season are running so early over the next few weeks.
Champers On Ice is another horse I’m looking forward to riding. It’s tremendous how much he improved during the season. Michael, my brother, has two really nice prospects from Irish point to points that have yet to run under rules. One is called Monbeg Aquadude. His form has worked out really well, and he’s a bit more pacey than Monbeg Dude. He’s an imposing individual. Another one is Caderyn. He won his Irish point to point very impressively. He may have a softly softly approach but long term I think he’ll be very good. They are two unexposed horses I’m excited about.
I would like to have been challenging for the title but I got off to a slow start, but David has had a great season so far particularly in prize money terms. He’s top of the table at the moment and it’s great credit to him how he’s placed his horses all summer. Let’s hope we can keep him there. If I can ride a hundred winners this season, a couple of Cheltenham Festival winners, and David can stay up near the top of the table then that will be a great season. I’m feeling great. Last season was stop start and a bit frustrating. I’m feeling 21 again.
I should mention Impulsive American who runs at Perth in the 4.25pm. He’s won 8 races in the space of a year which is incredible. He won at Ayr on the Flat over two miles and hopefully he can bring up his hat-trick of Novice Chases today. He’s only a 4 year old and he’s one of the stars of the yard.
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