Tom Scudamore with good chances on Saturday and big hopes for Cheltenham
I ride Chic Theatre in the 2.00 at Sandown. She won last time and showed a really good attitude around Doncaster stepping up in trip. This EBF Final is always a tough race; really competitive. I think we have an each way chance but there will be plenty coming out of this race. It’s normally one of the better novice hurdles of the season.
I ride Benenden for my brother in the 2.35. I think he’s got a good chance. He won’t want the ground too soft and the more it dries out the better it will be for him. He’s improving and he won nicely last time. The handicapper has had his say so hopefully there is a bit more to come from him.
I then fly by Helicopter to Chepstow where I have two more rides. In the 4.45 I’m on Sandy Beach for Colin Tizzard. He unseated last time but they seem to have found the right race for him. He has a good chance as he had looked like he was progressing nicely over fences. He is only a young horse and hopefully there is more to come from him.
Then I ride Obistar in the last at 5.20. He’ll love the ground. He’s in good form and he’ll really thrive on this going. He’s been off for over a year but he’s ready to go.
Looking ahead to Cheltenham, I’m feeling good and looking forward to it as the horses are running well, so that fills me with confidence. The first two days are fairly quiet before it gets busy for me on Thursday and Friday. Moon Racer misses the Supreme now which is a shame. I’ll have a ride in the Ultima Handicap Chase and the Novice Handicap Chase at the end of the day on Tuesday, but I don’t know what yet. On Wednesday it will be a similar story. Then Thursday the big guns come out, and I ride Dynaste and Thistlecrack.
Dynaste is in cracking order. The more I look through the race, the more I feel confident in his chance. Obviously what Gigginstown run will probably end up being favourite, but my horses seems really well and has improved since his run at Ascot. So I’m going there with plenty of confidence. His run against Cue Card at the start of the season was excellent and he then ran OK in the Betfair Chase. Then he was disappointing in the Long Walk. He will have to improve on his last run but it was a step back in the right direction. The Ryanair is cutting up and so I think he has a cracking chance. I haven’t sat on him since Ascot but I know him inside-out, and Sarah who rides him every day, she knows what she’s doing and does a great job with him.
Thistlecrack in the World Hurdle is my big ride of the week. I’m really looking forward to riding him. He’s done nothing wrong this season. He keeps improving, and I’m as confident as I can be as I head into a championship race.
On the Friday Next Sensation is my big ride on the day in the Grand Annual for my brother. He’s a 1lb higher than when he won it last year. He seems in really good form. It’s mighty tough to win back to back handicaps at the Festival but we couldn’t be happier with him. Starchitect would have a good chance in the County Hurdle. I have schooled him since his last run where he hit the last hurdle hard, and he’s in good shape but it’s a fiercely competitive race as always. I can see Champers On Ice running well in the Albert Bartlett. He has a bit to find with Shantou Village but I think the three mile trip will really suit him. There’s a bit more to come from him. I ride The Giant Bolster but he’s a big price.