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Tom Scudamore: “If there’s a strong gallop then I’d give him a really good chance”

| 23.12.2022

Jockey and Coral ambassador Tom Scudamore previews his two rides at Kempton on Boxing Day, including Royale Pagaille in the King George VI Chase.

I head to Kempton on Boxing Day for two rides, but they are two great rides that I’m sure will be more than worth the trip.

I have so many great memories of riding at Kempton on Boxing Day, having won the Feltham on a few occasions, as well as that magical day winning the King George on Thistlecrack. To see our names up there with the likes of Kauto Star and Desert Orchid is something that fills me with immense pride.

Because it’s a sharp track, everybody can be a bit dismissive and think it’s just a speed test, but at Grade 1 level, you really have to stay. There’s just no let-up in these races, they don’t stop. They go quick, and then they go quicker, so you have to get in that good rhythm, because when you turn for home in the King George, they aren’t coming back to you.

As I say, it’s a course I have some really fond memories of, and hopefully we can make some more this year.

Royale Pagaille – 2.30 Kempton

I’ve only ridden this lad once before, but he was so impressive that day when we won the Peter Marsh at Haydock, so I’m really looking forward to the ride on him if I’m honest. It is his first run of the season, but I’m not worried about that, he’s won off a break before, and I’m sure Venetia and the team at home will have him fit and ready.

The forecast is somewhat uncertain at Kempton over the next few days, so I’ll certainly be hoping for some heavy rain for him, as the softer it is, the better you’d say his chance would be. A good bit of rain could blunt the speed of a few of his rivals too, so that would definitely be in our favour.

He has 7lb to find with L’Homme Presse on ratings, but he doesn’t have that much to find with the others, so if there’s a good strong gallop, which looks likely, then I’d give him a really good chance.

You can make a case for so many of these, I’ve been really impressed with L’Homme Presse so far, Bravemansgame was very good at Wetherby last time, and Ahoy Senor is certainly no back number. Frodon is another who has shown he can win around here, and his reputation goes before him, so it’s going to be a very high-class renewal, and one I’m really looking forward to riding in.

Panic Attack – 3.05 Kempton

She was very good at Huntingdon when winning on her chase debut last month, so I can’t wait to ride her. She jumped really well that day at Huntingdon, and she’s jumped very well at home too. Everything she did prior to her chase debut suggested she’d be a better chaser than a hurdler, and I think she proved that that day, and I still think there’ll be plenty more to come from her.

She’s a very good mare, and a very versatile mare, so I suspect this trip round here will be absolutely fine for her, but I’m certain she’ll get three miles in time, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how she progresses.

Christmas Hurdle

Of the races I’m not riding in, I think like everybody, I’m really looking forward to seeing Constitution Hill run in the Christmas Hurdle. Not only has he shown tonnes of ability, but he’s also looked very professional when doing it. He’s taking on some very high-class horses in Epatante and Sceau Royal, but it’s incredibly hard to look past him if he continues to put up the sort of performances he has been doing.

I hope everybody has a fantastic Christmas, and I look forward to speaking with you all again over the festive period.


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Andrew McDermott

Andrew is a sports betting content journalist at PA Media. He is a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan but when he isn't reminiscing about their Premier League days he is also a junior cricket coach and enjoys cycling.