Scudamore says: “I’m hopeful there’s more to come from him”


Coral horse racing ambassador Tom Scudamore told us exclusively about his Chepstow rides this Saturday, which include Crimson Ark and Buckthorn Timothy. He also give an update on Thistlecrack, who is set to go chasing after his World Hurdle success last season.

Scudamore Chepstow rides: “I only have to lose a couple of pounds to make 10st on Crimson Ark”

I have to do 10 stone tomorrow in the Tote Silver Trophy on Crimson Ark but luckily I only have to lose a couple of pounds. I had a long walk with the dogs and will have a hot bath and luckily I don’t have to starve myself.

It’s just a case of being aware of what you’re taking on board, not that I’m eating loads at the moment anyway. My weight is pretty stable, and as I’m riding most days and pretty active it stays that way. My admiration for some of those flat boys knows no bounds. I only have to do 10 stone once in a while whereas those guys are doing 8 stone 8lbs on a regular basis.

There’s much more information now for jockeys and there are nutritionists giving advice, but it’s still tough for jockeys to keep to a balanced diet because of the lifestyle.

When you are getting up at the crack of dawn to ride out and then travelling straight to race meetings and then getting home late at night, it doesn’t leave much time for preparing meals. So jockeys often then eat on the go, grabbing whatever they can lay their hands on.

Crimson Ark is a little bit out of the handicap in what looks a very competitive race at 4.25 at Chepstow. He’s an improving type and won nicely at Fontwell last time, with the second coming out and winning since.

He has a bit to find, and it’s tough from out of the handicap, but Emma Lavelle’s horses are running really well. She’s moved to the new yard and made a cracking start there, and I’m hopeful that there is more to come from Crimson Ark in this.

Chepstow rides: “On a going day Buckthorn Timothy would have a good chance”

Buckthorn Timothy who I ride in the 5.00 is a bit of an in and out performer. I won on him around Huntingdon, a race that worked out really well.

We were probably fortunate winners of that race as Ubak of Gary Moore’s had headed us at the last but then made a bad mistake and parted company with Josh. I thought we were still going to give him a race at the time but we probably would have been beaten. In hindsight that turned out to be a really good race as Ubak came out and won a big handicap hurdle at Aintree.

We are stepping up to 2m7f and I see no reason why that step up in trip won’t suit him. He disappointed at Uttoxeter and ran a very moderate race, so he is an in and out performer. On a going day he would have a good chance.

“No reason why Thistlecrack can’t be every bit as good as over fences”

I’m in the lucky position at the moment that I’ve probably got more quality horses to look forward to riding than I’ve ever had. I could just do with more quantity of winners but that’s me being greedy. I’ve been schooling Thistlecrack and there seems no reason why he can’t be every bit as good over fences as he was over hurdles.

Hopefully he’ll be running in the next two or three weeks once we get a splash of rain. We had hoped to run him at Chepstow but the ground was just too dry. When Moon Racer beat Ballyandy a few weeks ago that rode like a good race. Moon Racer will improve a lot for both experience and the run. It was good to get him out.

I was very impressed with him. I thought the race didn’t really work out in our favour and would have suited Ballyandy more than us. At the second last I thought I was beaten, but he responded very well and within three strides after jumping the last I knew I’d win. He was always doing enough.

Starchitect is in good form and has top quality hurdle form

I went and sat on Starchitect the other day and he was in really good order ahead of the Cesarewitch. We also run Ennistown in the race too. He has to prove he gets the trip but he won over three miles at Carlisle and he’s improved since we got him.

It took a bit of time to work him out and he improved so much around Cartmel last time. Ryan Moore rides him. He has a chance but in all honesty if I had a choice between the two I would be favouring Starchitect. It’s closer than the betting suggests. Starchitect is in good form and has top quality hurdle form. It was a good run that he won on the flat. He loves those big field handicaps.

You’d be very hard pushed to see him out of the first four. Martin and David always enjoy having a crack at these staying flat handicaps. The jump trainers have the right ammunition for it. When Starchitect came into the yard we weren’t thinking straightaway that we’d be looking to win the Cesarewitch with him, but that is the sort of horse that can take in that race.

You only have to look at years gone by, the likes of Martin and David Pipe, Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliot, Philip Hobbs etc have all got great records in these races, as they have the right horses for them.

Big Easy was a case in point two years ago. He was OK over hurdles and had reached his level, and he then won for Tom Queally in this race. Last year Grumeti won it and he’d been chasing as well as hurdling.

It was great to see Hereford reopened. I’d like to congratulate the course executive, and also Martin Cruddace and Arc too for what they’ve done. It’s not just at Hereford as a few of the Arc courses were in need of some attention, and Arc was getting a bad name for poor prize money and facilities. But now Martin has done a good job to turn that around. It’s nice to have someone in that position with racing’s best interests at heart.


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