Tom Scudamore: “It’s always worth doing ten stones for a good horse”
Coral ambassador previews his Saturday rides
Newbury 12.40 – One For The Team
One For Team would have been second to Kalooki at Newbury last time but for a mishap at the last, he wouldn’t have beaten the winner but he had jumped OK until that point, he certainly showed enough to suggest he’d taken to chasing.
He has some decent novice hurdle form as well, finishing third behind McFabulous in the Persian War. He’s got a little bit to find on official ratings, he’s won at Newbury over hurdles and he could easily surprise a few people here.
Newbury 15.00 – Cloth Cap
The Ladbrokes Trophy is one of the classic races of the season as far as I’m concerned. When I was growing up the big five were the Mackeson, Hennessy, King George, Gold Cup and Grand National, and having been lucky enough to win this race before, I really appreciate what a big deal it is.
Cloth Cap is a lovely ride to pick up this year. I’ve had a handful of rides for Jonjo [O’Neill] over the years, and have ridden for owner Trevor Hemmings a bit, and being able to do ten stones here has got me this ride.
I’d probably get down to this weight a couple of times a month, I’ve had a few days to prepare for it, so it won’t be too much of a struggle, and of course when it’s to ride a good horse it’s always easier doing the weight!
Often when a horse carries ten stones, they end up out of the handicap – that isn’t the case here, it’s his proper mark for getting into this race. He comes here off the back of a good third behind Frodon at Cheltenham, he’s got his ideal conditions here, probably for the first time since his third in last season’s Coral Scottish Grand National, and as I say, getting in on that low weight gives him a major chance.
As you’d expect for such a good race there are plenty with chances, but not one in particular I fear. Newbury is such a fair jumping track, it really is the ideal course, and I think Cloth Cap has a cracking chance.
Newbury 15.35 – Moonlighter
My final ride is Moonlighter for Nick Williams, and in contrast to Cloth Cap, we carry top weight here.
He ran a cracking race at Exeter [behind Greanateen in the Haldon Gold Cup] and I think he’ll be even happier around Newbury. He’s won over fences here and going left-handed perhaps just suits him better as well, he does seem more comfortable going left.
I respect Venetia’s horse [Ibleo] but Moonlighter’s Exeter form looks the strongest on offer here and I think he’ll take a lot of beating.