Scudamore will be disappointed not to ride one or two winners
I had a little break after the end of the season but back in good working order since then. I’ve had a good week, riding three winners, and they were all decent races. I won a good race at Newton Abbot yesterday, on Thistlecrack’s brother the day before that and a big race at Uttoxeter on Katkeau last Saturday. Katkeau showed good battling qualities and might now go to France or come back for the Summer National.
I ride Manhattan Swing for Brian Ellison. He’s probably got a bit to find in a competitive handicap hurdle like this but Brian is a very good trainer and if he thinks he’s good enough for this then he must have a chance. I rode him once before in a messy race at Chepstow eighteen months ago in a race that worked out quite well. He’s got to improve a bit, but he’s no forlorn hope that’s for sure.
These mixed cards are quite strange. It’s nice to see the Flat boys but I don’t actually know that many of them. I say hello to one or two that I know. Half of them then shoot off to other racecourses for other rides. It’s always good to catch up with the likes of Dougie Costello and Graham Lee, who’ve both given up jump racing and gone over to the dark side.
I ride Dell ‘Arca in the 3.20. It was a tricky decision to pick him over Taj Badalandabad. Dell ‘Arca ran really well at Sandown the other week and he’s stepping up further in trip which I like. Taj Badalandabad is younger and improving and not without a chance. But I just thought that it’s about time Dell ‘Arca got his head in front, and hopefully tomorrow will be the day. The handicapper has given him a chance leaving his mark unchanged since Sandown so let’s hope the horse takes it. I certainly wouldn’t rule out Taj Badalandabad as he is a nice improving horse and he won nicely at Ascot last time. It was a tough decision to ride Dell ‘Arca over him.
In the 4.30 I ride Doctor Harper. He disappointed in the Kim Muir. We had big expectations for him that day and he has to bounce back from that. He’s still a horse with massive potential. Harry Fry’s horse looks the one to beat but I am very hopeful of Doctor Harper putting up a very good show. He’s my best ride of the day. In the Kim Muir, things just didn’t work out for him early on; he made a few bad mistakes. It was one of those situations where Will Biddick, the jockey, just wasn’t then able to get him going early on. So it ended up being a disaster after that. Hopefully he’ll put up a much better jumping show today.
Finally I ride Purple ‘N Gold in the 5.00. He was well beaten at Kempton the other day but that was a really hot race. I wouldn’t be too disappointed by that though, as it was a much hotter race. This is easier. At Kempton he was running against horses that had been running at Cheltenham, whereas this race is weaker. He must have a chance.
All in all I’ve got a nice book of rides today. Doctor Harper would be my best ride of the day but you can make a case for all four of them and I’d be disappointed not to ride a winner or two.