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Tom Scudamore: “I would have loved to have ridden Vieux Lion Rouge”

Coral ambassador discusses his recovery and looks over Friday’s Chepstow card

Recovering from injury

I injured myself in a fall on the 10th September at Worcester and broke the radius in my wrist and also my T7 vertebrae in my back. That put the mockers on me for a little bit in terms of riding, but I wasn’t ever in any great pain, in fact I was always pretty comfortable.

For the first couple of weeks after the fall I wasn’t really allowed do anything because of my back. So it was just a case of doing lots of walking. I couldn’t do any weights and I had to be careful about twisting.

Then I saw the Back Specialist after a couple of weeks and he gave me the green light to do light exercise, so I was down the local gym every day on an exercise bike doing cardio stuff. Then I started visiting Oaksey House in Lambourn and they put me on a programme of exercise to build myself up to race-riding fitness and when I’m not there I’m down at my local gym.

Return to riding

I won’t be allowed to start race-riding again until 22nd October because of my back. I see the specialist on Monday about my wrist, and I’m hoping he says I’m good to go, so that I can start riding out. I can then have a week of riding out, and continue exercising in the gym, and then be ready to race ride a week on Tuesday hopefully.

It has been frustrating but at the same time I just had to concentrate on getting better. What I didn’t want to do was mope around feeling sorry for myself, put on weight and then come back in bad shape.

The fitter I get, doing as much as I can without doing anything silly, then the quicker I’ll be back and the better shape I’ll be in. So hopefully I’ll have the benefits of a six week break, but be fit and ready to hit the ground running.

I’ve watched all the racing, either live or recorded, as that’s the best way of keeping on top of the form.

Chepstow Friday

It’s going to be a cracking couple of days racing with the ground absolutely perfect. The Persian War looks a fantastic race and all the big yards are well represented across the meeting.

15.55 Chepstow – Vieux Lion Rouge and Dell’Arca

I saw Vieux Lion Rouge the other day. When they get to that age it takes a bit longer to get them fit, but having said that he is now down to the same mark that he won the Becher Chase off, and over the last couple of years he has run really well first time out, with a second in the Becher and a 4th in the Charlie Hall. If I had the choice tomorrow I would ride Vieux Lion Rouge rather than Dell’ Arca.

Things didn’t go right for Dell’ Arc last time in Ireland but he’s a hard horse to catch right. The Young Master has had a run on the flat which will have brought him on.

He had a great season last year and is probably the one to beat. I wouldn’t be writing off Vieux Lion Rouge and I would have loved to have ridden him.

17.00 Chepstow – Stream Lady

The ground is probably going against Stream Lady. She has had a good summer but she prefers the better going. Her last run around Chepstow the ground was too soft for her and I would fear the same again tomorrow.

17.35 Chepstow – Queens Cave

Queens Cave was a very good bumper horse, and I went all the way to ride her at Ayr last season when I thought she was a penalty kick and she was pulled up at odds of 1/14.

She proved there’s no such thing as a certainty but when she came back it was shown she’d had a heart murmur that day. So there were genuine reasons for the poor run, the Vets have been in and checked her out, and it’s a bit of a watching brief tomorrow to see how she gets on.

She’s a very talented mare and this time last year we had very high hopes for her, so we are hoping she can run a good race.

Horses I’m looking forward to riding

I didn’t get the chance to ride Ramses De Teillee last season but he’s the stable star going into 2019/20 and I’m looking forward to riding him.

The up and coming horse going hurdling to chasing is Umbrigado. His hurdle form was very good but things didn’t work out for him at Aintree but he’s a good horse.

Eden Du Houx won a listed bumper last year so he’s a horse I can’t wait to ride over hurdles. I’m looking forward to riding Know The Score over fences this season and it wouldn’t surprise me if he turns up in the 4 Miler at Cheltenham next March. He’s going to make into a cracking staying chaser.

A horse called Make Me A Believer who runs this weekend is worth following closely as I like him a lot.

I rode Kateson a lot last season and I imagine he’ll be going novice chasing for Tom Lacey. His run in the Challow Hurdle was very good and I think he’ll have another good season.

The Tizzards have a lot of nice horses this season and of the ones I’ve ridden, Vision Des Flos going novice chasing is very exciting.

Neil Mulholland has a very nice horse called Tango Boy that won up at Fakenham last year, that’s worth following. He’s a nice horse.

It’s all systems go with Thistlecrack with sights set on another tilt at the King George on Boxing Day. He’s getting a bit longer in the tooth but his two runs last year before the Gold Cup, in the Betfair Chase and the King George, proved he can still mix it in the best company. There’s no reason why he can’t run back to that level again.

Tom