Scudamore says: Today could be the day for Dell’ Arca to shine
The meeting with the Doctor went really well on Wednesday. They passed me with flying colours and I was able to pick up a ride at Taunton yesterday which felt great with no reaction. It was just great to get back to work.
I did a lot of media work last weekend with Channel 4 and AtTheRaces and I enjoyed it. It was nice to dip my toe into that world and it seemed to go well. It’s the sort of thing I’d like to do in a few years’ time. I know I’m not going to ride forever so it’s good to get a bit of practice in when you have enforced time off. The one thing I was very aware of when I became a jockey was that you had to have something set up for when you finish. Grandad didn’t have anything set up for when he finished, and all of a sudden his career was ended overnight because of a bad fall. So because of that Dad had a plan, and when he retired he had his business partnership with Nigel Twiston-Davies and his media work. He always knew he was going to go on to something. You need to have something to fall back on when you finish. Your main focus is on the racing and riding, but you have to have half an eye on what you’re going to do afterwards.
I’m riding La Vaticane in the first today at 1.05pm. As it turns out she wouldn’t have got into the Paddy Power Gold Cup, but we have a very strong hand in that race anyway so it made sense to run her in this. She’s only had the one run in the UK over hurdles and that was a good run. She’s stepping back in trip today but I’m sure she’ll handle all the conditions. She’s going to start a short price because of what she did on that one run so far over here. She’s done everything right at home so she’s got to go and prove it today.
Coming back from injury, before I had my first ride at Taunton yesterday, there are always going to be a few lingering doubts and worries but as soon as I jumped the first hurdle I was back into it. It’s like a batsman getting off the mark. Once he hits his first single, he can breathe easier and get on with it, and that’s how it felt for me.
In the 1.40pm I’m on Dell’ Arca. I schooled him during the week and was really pleased with him. His chasing career has been a bit in and out, but finishing second to Coneygree was probably the best run of his life as it turned out. Even when he won at Uttoxeter I don’t think he as at his best that day. He seems fresh and well. Yes, we have to find a few pounds on the ratings but I think if he’s ever going to do it then today will be the day that it happens.
My final ride on the day is Champers On Ice in the 2.15pm. What a four runner race this is. Penglai Pavilion, Shantou Magic and Alcala are three good horses. It’s a wonderful little race. With just four runners it will be very interesting tactically. We know what we’ve got and we are very happy with him. It’s a tough starting point but with just the four runners it will be ideal.