Tom Scudamore: “On his best form he’ll have a massive chance”

Tom Scudamore

Coral ambassador previews his weekend rides


The ground at Doncaster alwaysdries out well but the forecast is pretty unsettled so it will be interestingto see what the going is come race-time.

13.50 Doncaster – Remastered

He was a disappointment lasttime. We thought he’d run a big race at Sandown, following his decent second atChepstow the time before to Potters Cross. He isn’t the most consistent ofhorses but on his best form he’ll have a massive chance. It’s just a questionof which Remastered turns up.

15.00 Doncaster – Aurora Thunder

She has a little bit to find onratings but she has been running well. If a couple of her opponents were tounder-perform she’d be there or thereabouts, and she might be overpriced.

15.35 Doncaster – Cesar Et Rosalie

He has some decent bits andpieces of form. He last won when he landed a competitive race around Uttoxeterat the beginning of the summer. That was a good run but his form since then hastailed off a little bit so he needs to bounce back. Hopefully the better groundat Doncaster will help him do that.

16.10 Doncaster – Kepagge

He’s unbeaten so far and is avery nice horse. I think he will still be unbeaten come Saturday night.

16.45 Doncaster – Hereia

He ran well in Ireland and alsoran well on his first run for Neil. His form has slipped since then buthopefully the better ground will see him in a better light.

Other horses to note:

I had riding options at Newburyas well as Doncaster, but head to Doncaster to ride Kepagge.

Moonlighter inthe novice chase at Newbury is a horse I rode last time and I think he’ll havea good chance against Master Tommytucker.

Dell’ Arca rana lot better last time out and he runs in the Veterans’ Chase, and would have asqueak in that.

I was a little disappointedwith Nordic Combined around Ludlow last time but the return toa more galloping track will suit him. Main Fact has been arevelation but the handicapper has caught up with him. If the heavens open andthe ground deteriorated significantly then that would really help Main Fact’schance. 

Sunday rides

15.55 Huntingdon – Elan De Balme

He ran well for a long way atWincanton last time and we are dropping him back in trip. I think this is avery winnable race.

This is a race I always want towin as it is named after John Bigg, the man that owned Oxo, my Grandad’s GrandNational winner. The trophy is the actual Grand National trophy that he won. Soit is a race that means a lot to me. I’ve won the race once before and wouldlike to win it again. 

17.30 Huntingdon – Martinhal

I’ve been really pleased withhim since he came to us. I’ve sat on him a couple of times. We’ll find out moreon Sunday but he feels like a really nice horse.

Leighton Aspell‘s retirement

He’s had a fabulous career. Hisretirement came as a bit of shock though. We were all sat in the weighing roomlast Saturday at Kempton and Robbie Dunne was messing around saying to Leightonthat he had another two or three years in him, and Leighton just turned aroundand said, “No I won’t, I’m retiring tomorrow”.

Everyonethought he was mucking around, but he was deadly serious and said “No, I amdefinitely retiring tomorrow”.

Even then I turned around tohim and said, “I’ve heard that before”, as Leighton had retired before a fewyears ago before returning to riding. But when we were down at the start forthe next race, he repeated it again and I realised then that he was deadlyserious and he was calling time on his great career.

He’s been riding as well ashe’s ever ridden, and I suppose that’s a nice way to go out, on your own termsand when things are going well.

Whatever he decides to do next,he’s the kind of person that will be a success at it. So whatever jobs he looksto apply for within racing, people would be wise not to turn him down becausehe’ll be a serious asset wherever he goes.

Richard Johnson’s return

He has done really well to getback so quickly. His break was the smaller bone on the side of the arm sowhilst people were all writing him off I knew that he would be able to get backquite fast. In fact, he felt like he could have ridden just two weeks after theoperation but the metalwork in the arm is what stops you.

Whilst he’s been off the Godshave smiled on him as the weather has hindered Brian Hughes from riding morewinners, and the gap between them is not insurmountable.

At thisstage I think Dickie Johnson will catch Brian and retain his title. I felt thatif the lead was within 20 when he came back he would be able to do it.

There’s a lot of racing leftthis season.


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