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Scudamore says: “I’m really looking forward to riding West Approach”

| 20.10.2017

Top jockey speaks exclusively to Coral about his weekend schedule

It’s been a busy week. Aside from racing, I’ve been down to David Bridgwater’s, Richard Woollacott’s, Neil Mulholland’s and Warren Greatrex’s yards this week too.

I went down to Bridgy’s to school a horse that he’s hoping to run next week, perhaps at Plumpton on Monday, called Cohesion.

It’s rated 104 on the flat so he wanted me to go and have a sit on him beforehand.

There’s a horse called Western Ryder at Warren’s that I went down to ride, as I’ll probably be riding him soon. 

Richard Woollacott has a horse called Lalor that he’s looking to run at Exeter next Tuesday, so I went down and schooled him.

It’s at this time of year that the nice horses start to come out, and with the rain arriving, trainers are putting them through their last paces before their first runs of the season.

Tom’s weekend rides


2.10 Ffos Las – Queen of The Wind

She’s had one run in a bumper finishing down the field but she’ll hopefully gain from that experience.

All the horses I’m riding tomorrow will have to cope with testing ground, as it’s soft now and there’s more rain forecast.

Hopefully Queen of The Wind can improve from that first outing and run a decent race.

Ffos Las used to have quite fast ground when it was first opened, but now it’s a place you associate with very soft ground. You need tracks that suit all different types of horse.

Kempton for example caters for jump horses that want better ground, whereas a track like Ffos Las is ideal if you have a mud lark.

2.45 Ffos Las – Harbour Force

He’ll have to handle the testing ground. It was a much better performance at Chepstow last weekend.

It was unfortunate what happened to him first time out, but after last week we have got something to build on.

This will be a tough contest though with Joseph O’Brien bringing one over from Ireland while Charlie Mann’s horse has shown a decent level of form.

3.20 Ffos Las – West Approach

I’m really looking forward to riding West Approach. This is a good novice chase. West Approach will be one of the top rated hurdlers to go novice chasing this year, rated 157.

He ran some very nice races last year and has schooled very nicely at home. This is one of the most competitive novice chases run this season so far but you’d like to think West Approach would have a really good chance.

I don’t do anything different when riding a novice chaser first time out. The schooling at home is where you work things out.

That said you do expect the unexpected as you know they don’t have the experience of other horses with previous chases under their belt.

The objective is to see that a horse can be as good over fences as he was over hurdles, and perhaps even better.

It does help to have schooled a horse over fences before riding them over fences first time up, but then I’ve also won on many horses on their chasing debut that I’ve never sat on before.

To me it doesn’t really make any difference. As long as I’ve done my homework and watched their races it should be fine.

3.55 Ffos Las – King Alfonso

I know King Alfonso well having ridden him over the summer.

He’s been in good form but on this ground and on all known form Kerry Lee’s Grey Gold is going to be very hard to beat.

5.35 Ffos Las – Heaven Dream

I don’t know an awful lot about this horse as he’s unraced but given his connections I’m sure he will know his job and be above-average.

He’s a nicely bred horse so I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes.


2.40 Kempton – Siruh Du Lac

He gets all the allowances being a four-year-old running first time over fences.

His form is very good and at the weights he must have a very good chance.




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.