Tom Scudamore: “This horse has a very good chance and is my best ride of the day”
Coral ambassador Tom Scudamore previews his weekend rides at Sandown and Huntingdon.
Although I don’t have a ride in the Tingle Creek, I have five rides to look forward to at Sandown on Saturday, and there are a few in particular that I’m looking forward to getting on this weekend.
Sandown is certainly one of the more different tests when riding over fences there. It’s the pace at which the fences come at that can sometimes catch you out, and it’s quite unique to have so many fences to jump, in such a short space of time.
In a race like the Tingle Creek, as soon as you get past the stands and start racing downhill, you can’t afford to make any mistakes down there, as you’ll end up on the back foot, so it’s a real test for these horses.
When you’re riding a front-runner over those fences, it can be some sight, but you really need to be able to dominate and dictate things if you are going to win from the front. It’s a funny place to ride as you’ll often get taken on between the railway fences and the pond fence, and you’ll find yourself getting racing far too early, which can be a nightmare as it’s a long way up that straight at Sandown.
I’ve never sat on this lad on the track before, but his bumper form was good. He made a nice start at Lingfield in February, then he wasn’t beaten that far at Newbury in what looked like a pretty decent race last month. Authorised Speed sets a good standard on what he’s achieved so far, and I’m sure he’ll be tough to beat, but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Star Flyer put up a bold showing.
Peltwell has been disappointing on her last few starts, and she’s still 1lb above her last winning mark, but she’s been a winning machine for her connections. A stiff 2m is probably ideally what she wants, but it would be the class of the race, rather than the trip that might catch her out. This looks like one of the most competitive races she’s contested, and I think West Balboa is a worthy favourite based on her run behind Stage Star at Newbury last year.
Sidi Ismael has a very good chance here, and I’d definitely say he’s my best ride of the day. He ran very well in a good race at Cheltenham last time, when not far behind Annual Invictus, and I’d say a reproduction of that effort would see him go very close. He wears blinkers for the first time here. He schooled very well in them the other day, so we just thought we’d try something different. I’m really looking forward to riding him.
If we’re honest, he looks like he’s got it all to do in this race. He’s a solid type, and he’s down to his last winning mark, so at least the handicapper has given him a chance. I’m sure he’ll be winning again in the future, but this does look very competitive taking on horses who’ve won at the Cheltenham Festival.
He won over further at Exeter this time last year, so the trip shouldn’t bother him, and I’d say he’d have a right chance in this. He can be inconsistent, but he ran well for a long way in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter, so he does seem to relish these marathon trips. He’s now 1lb below his last winning mark, and unlike many of these, he’ll appreciate the better ground, so I think he’s overpriced, and I could certainly see him running a big race.
Art of Illusion has taken to fences really well, and he certainly wasn’t disgraced when third at Lingfield last month. He carried on galloping over shorter last time, so this longer trip should suit, but I think he’s versatile with regards to distance. When he won at Plumpton, he looked like he was going to absolutely hack up turning for home, but only just hung on in the end, so I’m hopeful this track will suit him perfectly.
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