Tom Scudamore: “Ramses De Teillee will be very hard to beat”
Coral ambassador previews this weekend’s Cheltenham rides
It was great to ride a double on Thursday for Neil Mulholland. The second of them was unexpected. And I rode Queens Cave to win at Exeter on Wednesday for Kenny Alexander which was really pleasing. That was great, so it’s been a good week all round.
It’s a real shame that the Cheltenham Friday was called off as I had some really nice rides, but I have plenty more over the weekend.
The meeting isn’t as competitive as usual which I think is partly down to the ground, but also the fact that the Irish-trained horses haven’t travelled over because of the uncertainty over the meeting going ahead.
13.15 Cheltenham – Poker Play
He was meant to run on Friday but he runs here now. He’s stepping up to three miles and he will love the conditions. I’m sure he’ll stay as he was second over two miles seven furlongs and I think he’s a better horse now than he was then.
You have to respect Wholestone and we have over a stone to find, but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he could run a big race given the conditions.
13.50 Cheltenham – Ramses De Teillee
It was great to see him pick up a novice hurdle on his season reappearance and these conditions are not going to bother him in the slightest. Speaking frankly, he’s the horse that all the others have to beat.
You have to respect the West Approach who ran very well last time and Big River has some good pieces of form, but if Ramses De Teillee runs to form then he is going to be very hard to beat.
14.25 Cheltenham – Eamon An Cnoic
We run two in this in Eamon An Cnoic and Warthog. Warthog has flattered to deceive a little bit over the years but he is in good form. We schooled him in the week and we were hoping to run him over two miles on Friday, but he could still go well at a big price. First time out is generally his best run of the season and although he’s an outside he could still surprise a few people.
I was always going to ride Eamon An Cnoic. There is still a slight question mark about his stamina at the trip. He was bang there jumping the second last in the Plate at the Cheltenham Festival behind Sirruh De Luc and didn’t quite finish the race out as you’d like.
However that was on the New Course, and this is on the Old Course which I find is a slightly easier track.
He will love the conditions. He has won on ‘Haydock heavy’ so these conditions are not going to bother him. He’s a year older and a year wiser but we just need to see him finish out his race a bit more strongly if he’s to win this.
15.00 Cheltenham – Vieux Lion Rouge
Vieux Lion Rouge ran a tremendous race on his reappearance. He will love these conditions and I schooled him during the week and he jumped the hurdles sharp and swift.
This is another sharpener for The Becher Chase in a few weeks’ time because there aren’t that many opportunities for horses like this. But he’s fit and well and he could surprise a few people in this.
He’ll be galloping on when others have cried enough. He was a very good hurdler. I know it was many moons ago but he was favourite for the Martin Pipe Conditional race at the Cheltenham Festival. His form over hurdles was very good.
15.30 Cheltenham – Remastered
He’s got to bounce back from a disappointing run at Chepstow but things conspired against him that day. He will handle the ground and his form with Good Boy Bobby when he beat him at Ffos Las on heavy ground last year reads very well, as does his form with Dashel Drasher around Newbury. He will relish the conditions and on his day he’s a very good horse.
16.00 Cheltenham – Fantasy Shift
I’m riding Fantasy Shift for Michael. I think he likes her but we’ll find out more about her after this. It’s a big ask first time out to win a race like this.
13.15 Cheltenham – Kingswell Theatre
He’s a real specialist around this Cross Country course. He ran well first time out around Sedgefield where he definitely needed the run and he was bang there at the second last when he blew up.
As he’s got older, he’s got a bit stuffier and Michael just wanted to get a run into him before this Cross Country race. Whereas he’s gone and won this and run well in it off a break before, Michael just felt that the weight is a little bit harder to get off him these days so hence the decision to run at Sedgefield.
Rathlin Rose ran a big race in the Pardubicke but he’s got to bounce back from a below par run last time out.
15.30 Cheltenham – Eden Du Houx
He’s back over two miles. He ran a really good race first time out this season when second to I K Brunel. It was disappointing to get beaten but history may say that they were two very good horses.
Two miles around Cheltenham in testing conditions should suit him and I think he has an outstanding chance. I respect the opposition as it’s a top-class race but I wouldn’t swap my horse.
16.00 Cheltenham – Israel Champ
We have some very nice bumper horses this season, and Israel Champ did disappoint us when he was beaten at Worcester as we thought he was up there with our best. Hopefully we can out that right on Sunday.