Tom Scudamore looks forward to busy Saturday at Kempton
In the first (12.25pm) at Kempton I’m on a newcomer Race To Glory. He’s schooled well and has settled in well at Pond House but obviously we’ll learn a bit more about him tomorrow. I don’t think he got his head in front on the flat but hopefully hurdles will be the making of him. You sometimes get horses that are working and jumping the place down at home and then you get them to the track and they look like they’ve never seen a hurdle before in their life. And then there are other horses who aren’t very good at home but who get to the track and click. The main thing you can take from a horse’s work at home is the confidence that they’re capable of jumping and they know what to do and that’s all you can take from it really. Race To Glory has done plenty of schooling, he seems to enjoy it, he’s jumped well at home. Now he’s got to put the practice to good use.
I’m riding Key To The West for David Dennis in the 1.00pm. Key To The West is a bit in and out to be honest. He either wins or runs badly judging by his form. He was an impressive winner at Uttoxeter the time before last but then disappointed at Ascot last time. Hopefully he’ll put his best foot forward tomorrow. There are a few in the race that have to improve to win. It doesn’t look the strongest of races. Hopefully my horse will bounce back to form. He’s got to reverse the form with Venetia Williams’ runner (Cold March), but hopefully he can do that.
I’m on Dell’ Arca in the Lanzarote (2.40pm). It was a very hot race last time at Ascot and he didn’t get the three miles. He travelled well into the straight but just didn’t stay the trip. He’s dropping back to 2 miles 5 furlongs tomorrow. On his best form you’d give him a chance but he has been pretty disappointing by his standards this season so far. His one bright spot was when he was second to Coneygree at Newbury. That run would give him a very good chance, and last season’s form would give him a very good chance. In the same race Heath Hunter runs. He ran OK to a point at Haydock but he’s got to step on that first run to win this. He has bits and pieces of form that would give him a good chance but he’s always threatened to win one of these races and he just hasn’t. He has had his chances before. That said I’ve always thought he was capable of winning a good race so he’s just got to prove it now.
I’ve picked up a nice spare, Mart Lane, in the 3.15pm for Sophie Leech. He ran in the Coral Welsh Grand National last time and was pulled up so has to bounce back to form. His best form has been around Market Rasen so Kempton should suit him. He’s a 25/1 outsider which is probably a realistic view of his chance, but he’s in there with a shot.
I’m finally able ride Swing Bowler for the first time in the 3.45pm. It doesn’t look the most competitive of races. Jenny Candish’s (Sleepy Haven) won nicely last time and that form is working out well. Swing Bowler is gradually coming down the handicap but the handicapper knows all about her and hasn’t given her a lot of slack. The more rain the better. She’ll love the conditions and I’m hopeful she’s going to run a big race. I’ve sat on her at home and schooled her plenty, but for the want of a better phrase, I just haven’t managed to get my leg over her yet! She’s always been running in the big handicaps and I’ve chosen other horses ahead of her. But tomorrow we finally team up together. She’s a cracking mare and obviously I’ve watched all her races. I’m hopeful we’ll run a big race.
Looking ahead to Cheltenham, Dynaste and Kings Palace got Gold Cup entries this week, but as things stand they both have other targets at the Festival. David said this week in the press that Dynaste will more than likely go for the Ryanair again, and Kings Palace will be going down the RSA Chase route. But they’ve both been given entries in the Gold Cup because things can change between now and then. There are still nine weeks to go. All being well they will both have one more run each and that will clear up the picture from there. At this stage it’s more of case that they’ve been given an entry because if you’re not in you can’t win and as we’ve seen in the past plans can change.
Cheltenham’s still a long way off and I don’t want to tempt fate, but Dynaste and Kings Palace are bang up there with the horses I’m looking forward to riding at the Festival. The Giant Bolster is another one and he seems well. This is his time of year. We have Moon Racer going for the bumper. There are lots of nice horses who might end up there. We’ve got a nice clutch of novices and juveniles and now the entries are starting to come out you begin to get a picture of the races but you can’t get too carried away. There is still two months to go. There’s no point in counting your chickens. At this time last year if you’d told me I was going to win three races at the Festival I would only really have believed in Dynaste of the three at this stage. As this stage I would have guessed that the other two would have been The Liquidator and Kings Palace probably, not Western Warhorse and Ballynagour. That sums up Cheltenham really. The main priority is just to get the horses there and see what happens.