Tom Scudamore on his New Year’s Eve rides and New Year’s Day
Tom Scudamore blog
When I watched the King George back again what struck me most was the ease with which he won the race. It certainly didn’t feel like he’d stood off that far at the ditches as he did, which just shows you the power of the horse. I knew that he’d been bold at them but I didn’t realise it looked so dramatic to spectators because it felt so effortless sitting on top of him. He is just so comfortable doing it.
It was great to ride the bumper winner, Cadeyrn, on Coral Welsh Grand National Day for my brother. I was confident beforehand but not so confident during the race as it took him a good mile to get going. When he did get going he stayed on nicely. He’s a horse we think a lot of and definitely one to follow.
It’s been a really good week all told. It’s great to have so many people saying “well done” and sending me congratulatory messages. At the same time I’m old enough and experienced enough to keep my feet on the ground and keep on concentrating. That said it’s definitely dawning on me what was achieved on Boxing Day.
I go to Warwick first for a ride on Grace Tara for my brother in the 12.30. Grace Tara won well at Lingfield and is now stepping up in grade. She could cause a surprise. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see her run very well.
David was using his helicopter, so I asked him if it could drop me off at Warwick first, and then take me to Uttoxeter, as it’s on the way. He kindly said yes, so I’ve sorted it all out with the pilot. It was a lot of fun trying to work out the timings to see if it was possible. The helicopter lands in the middle of the track at Warwick, and immediately after the race I’ll jump back in the chopper and off we’ll go. The flight should take 27 minutes and I’m aiming to be at Uttoxeter at 1.13pm for my ride in the 1.40pm. I run in, weigh out and ride Shotavodka in the 1.40pm. The one issue might be fog, as they can’t take off with limited visibility. If the weather is bad I will then go straight to Uttoxeter.
Shotavodka is a magic old horse. I’m very fond of him. He is showing all his enthusiasm. He has been mixing chasing and hurdling over the years. He has a chance tomorrow and is an old favourite of mine.
I ride Hebert Park in what is his first run over fences in the 2.15. He ran better than his finishing position suggests at Cheltenham last time. He stumbled at a bad time. He should improve for the switch to chasing and if he does he would have a chance. He has improved this year but he can sometimes be a mercurial performer.
Rock On Rocky is my mount in the 2.50. I’ve ridden against him lots of times. He was second last time and he would have a chance. He probably has a bit to find with a few of his rivals. He has been very successful for his connections over the years.
I’m riding Never Been Wrong in the last for Tom Symonds. I don’t think I’ve ever ridden for Tom before. He worked for Grandad and I’ve known him for a very long time so it will be nice to ride for him. The horse is owned by David Redvers amongst others but I don’t know much about him. Hopefully he’s a nice horse.
Then on Sunday, I ride at Cheltenham. My first ride is Doctor Harper in the 12.50. He’s going to win a nice race one of these days. It will fall right for him. He ran better than his finishing position suggests last time at Cheltenham. He didn’t quite get home that day in the ground. At some point it will all fall right. There’s a nice race in this fellow and he’s worth persevering with. It’s a couple of furlongs shorter than last time and I think that will suit him. He travelled and jumped well for a long way last time. He’s a horse with a lot of potential that hasn’t yet been fulfilled.
I ride Tenor Nivernais in the 2.00. He’s been a great servant for Venetia Williams. If the rain comes he would have a good chance. He does seem to be better on soft ground. He will run another solid race regardless as he is a consistent performer.
I then ride for Mark Tompkins in the bumper at 3.40. Sweeping Beauty. I haven’t ridden for Mark for quite some time. I always enjoy riding for him. It’s probably got to improve a bit on his firm to date to win this.