Tom Scudamore: “He jumps, he stays, he’s in great form this season.”
Coral ambassador discusses the opening day at Cheltenham Festival
Our man Tom Scudamore gave us his take on his rides on Day One at Cheltenham, and his thoughts on the Champion Hurdle.
Cheltenham 13.55 – Numitor
Although it will be strange riding here this week with the usual Festival crowd absent, every jockey will still be desperate to get into that famous winners’ enclosure, as this is still the week that matters most.
I start the week on Numitor, who is a big outsider in the Arkle. We are tilting at windmills here, but there are only six runners, and this horse has taken to fences well.
While it’s hard to envisage defeat for Shishkin here, it would be no surprise to see Numitor run well in decent two mile handicaps in the future.
Cheltenham 14.30 – One For The Team
One For The Team was perhaps a little bit disappointing at Doncaster last time, but up until then he had struck me as the ideal type for this race.
He ran well in the Grade 1 Kauto Star at Christmas, and was a good second behind Next Destination at Newbury before that, so I’m happy to put a line through that Doncaster run as I don’t think he gave his true running.
Hopefully that’s the case, and if so, I think he’s got an outstanding each-way chance.
Cheltenham 15.05 – Champion Hurdle
If I could get on any horse in the Champion Hurdle it would have to be Honeysuckle. I think connections made the right choice going for the Mares’ race last season, and although it seems harsh to say this about an unbeaten horse, I wasn’t convinced her hurdling was slick enough for the top two mile races last season.
However, at Leopardstown last time she was absolutely electric at the hurdles, and so I now don’t think there are any chinks in her armour, I think she’ll be very hard to beat.
Cheltenham 16.50 – Remastered
We had a couple of options for Remastered coming into this week, but Royal Pagaille dropping out of this race in favour of the Gold Cup probably made up everyone’s mind to run here.
He jumps, he stays, he’s been in great form this season, and while we do have a bit to find with some of these on ratings, it’s not an awful lot.
I was really impressed with his win at Ascot last time. He jumped well when it mattered and then outstayed them, and hopefully he can do the same again here.
He’s another I think has an excellent each-way chance.