Tom Scudamore excited about Aintree Next Sensation
Going into Aintree I’m very happy with how the season has gone so far. In terms of the Jockey’s Championship I’m currently in second but I’m not fussed whether I finish second, third or fourth because we’ve still all been beaten, but I would like to get past 150 before the season ends. Then hopefully I’ve got plenty of ammunition for the summer. Looking further ahead that’s what I’m hoping for.
I ride Soll in Saturday’s Grand National and the closer we get the more confident I’m getting. He’s always struck me as a National type. He’s been round there before. The blinkers on certainly helped him last time. Yes, he’s had his issues but he seems in very good form at the moment, I think he’s got a cracking chance.
When it comes to big races, the Grand National’s the best. It’s number one. It’s the race you want to win more than any other. It’s a phenomenal race. Don’t get me wrong, the Gold Cup, the Champion Hurdle and the like are extraordinary races but the Grand National is ahead of them all. It’s the race that’s known all around the world and being the Grandson of a Grand National winning jockey is something I am so proud of. It’s the biggest race in the world. My best finish is eighth. Soll’s got a better record than me. I’ve had fourteen go’s at it and my best finish is eighth, and Soll has had one go at it and he finished seventh!
I ride Stars Over The Sea in the 2.15pm who ran well at Cheltenham at big odds in the Triumph Hurdle. I think Aintree will suit him better and the drying ground will help him. I think he’ll run a really big race. Yes he’s got it to do to turn around the form with Hargam and you could argue that he’s also in the same boat as the better ground and track will suit him better than Cheltenham, and he finished a long way ahead of me. But I’ve got plenty of grounds for optimism and I can see him running a very good race.
My mount in the 2.50pm, Ballynagour, missed Cheltenham. It’s a hot race and realistically we are running for prize money but sometimes in this race you can get turn ups. You can’t underestimate what a hard race these horses had in the Gold Cup. Any year it’s a hard race and it can be difficult to bounce back from it. Silviniaco Conti was beaten a long, long way this year. Every single year the Gold Cup is such a tough race but this year the speed we went early on and the pace Coneygree was able to maintain was absolutely spectacular. There will be plenty of horses that will not have recovered from Cheltenham in time. My horse missed Cheltenham. He’s a horse that doesn’t take much racing. But fortunately he seems to have had a clear run since then. He’s a very, very good horse on his day. He has course form, as I was third in the Melling Chase on him last year. He likes Aintree and when he’s right and everything’s right for him, he’s a very good horse. But you never know until you run him.
In the 4.40pm I ride Next Sensation the horse I won the Grand Annual on for my brother. It’s very difficult to do the double, but it’s the right race for him. A lot of the horses he’s running against ran behind him in the Grand Annual. We are getting weight off Claret Cloak and meeting him on similar terms to those we had last year in the Grand Annual but he missed Cheltenham, so Claret Cloak is probably the one to beat. Next Sensation has run round Aintree before but it wasn’t the track that beat him, he wasn’t right that day. I think the course will suit him. He’s a slightly different horse now. More relaxed. He doesn’t have to lead. He was taken on last time. It’s just if he isn’t making the running something is going very, very fast.
In the final race the 5.15pm I’m on Serienschock. I feel sorry for him as he’s been hiked up another 7lbs for being beaten and he keeps going up in the weights despite not winning and I don’t think that’s fair on a horse. He’s been running well but he hasn’t won. It’s a hot race tomorrow and in all honesty he’s got it all to do. If he was 7lbs lower I’d be more confident. I just feel sorry for him for being hammered for running well. He keeps meeting unexposed, improving types and that’s been to his detriment. David has two others in the race Bygones Sovereign and Unique De Cotte and if I had the choice I’d ride Unique De Cotte. After his Cheltenham run I see no reason why he wouldn’t go close here. Him and Call the Cops are two very good horses and they set the standard. They’re the two to beat. Call The Cops has won round Doncaster so should like Aintree but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Unique De Cotte reversed the Cheltenham form at these weights.