Tom Scudamore hopeful of success over National fences
In the Becher Chase at 1.40pm I ride Soll. He ran a great race for a long way in the Grand National. Unfortunately he then broke a blood vessel late on. He’s got to bounce back from a disappointing run last time. He’s got the blinkers back on and if he runs like he did in the Grand National then I think he’ll go very close.
It’s a funny start to The Becher Chase. It’s really awkward. You start with your back to Valentines and there’s not a lot of room and you the have to jump two fences in quick succession, then the Chair and the water jump. Once you’re over them it all then gets more straightforward.
It’s normally pretty testing at this time of year particularly as they haven’t had much racing on it. It gets very tiring. A lot will happen in both races over the fences today, as always with the National fences. Our Father looked like he was going to win last year as he jumped the third last and then ended up out of the money.
I am hopeful of a good run. It’s a funny race. I was a bit concerned that he was a few pounds higher than his last winning mark but then that’s the same for most of the horses in the field. There isn’t anything in the race that is screaming that it’s well handicapped. It’s normally one of those races that suits horses with experience round the track and the older horses too.
I’ll be watching Many Clouds with interest in the 2.15. He’s got to set up a good deal on his Wetherby run. The only thing is I’m not sure that Aintree is going to suit Don Poli. There are only four runners so it will be an interesting tactical race. If Menorah bounced back to form then I think the track would suit him best, but if there’s more rain in the morning then that would then suit Don Poli. It always rides a bit better than they call it. All in all I think it will be a tough test for Don Poli first time out on this track. I don’t think it will play to his strengths. I can’t see Many Clouds winning at the weights.
I’m on Poole Master in the Grand Sefton Chase at 3.20. He’s only 2lbs higher than when winning the race last year. There can’t be enough rain for him. I think he’s got a really good chance. He had a run round Haydock last time but he really comes alive around Liverpool. I think he’ll go well again.
There’s always a different buzz about riding over the National fences. Riding a winner over them last year was just phenomenal. It was something I always wanted to achieve. It gave me a massive thrill. Now I want to do it twice in one day.
I think Vibrato Valtat is the one in the Tingle Creek at 3.00 at Sandown. His wind op has made the difference. It’s not a magic wand and doesn’t always work but last year Vibrato Valtat was travelling well in his races and then found very little. In the Haldon Gold Cup he ran all the way to the line.
On Sunday I ride three for Alan Swinbank at Kelso. I have ridden winners for him in the past but Paul Moloney normally rides for him, but unfortunately broke his leg. These are his rides which I have been fortunate enough to pick up. I don’t know a lot my ride in the first Ralphy Lad who has had one run over hurdles. The other two will have decent chances, Deep Resolve and Big Water.
They are nice spares to pick up but you’ve got to feel for Paul and I wish him a speedy recovery. I’ve got a good record round Kelso and I like riding the course. The prize money is excellent and the course is very well run so I can’t speak highly enough about the place.