Tom Scudamore talks his Newbury and Carlisle rides, including Thistlecrack and Un Temps Pour Tout
I have two rides on Saturday at Newbury and then two at Carlisle on Sunday, all four of which should go well.
Saturday rides at Newbury
Thistlecrack is my first ride on Saturday in the 12.55. I schooled him last week before Ascot. We jumped upsides Native River and he did everything that I asked of him. I was really pleased with him. He seems to be learning, and gaining more and more confidence. In terms of this race, first things first it’s a contest we need to win. Hopefully he can improve again on what he’s shown at Chepstow and at Cheltenham, and I see no reason why he won’t. Newbury is a fine track. There is lots of room, it’s a flat track, the fences are well presented, it is the perfect racecourse.
The small field isn’t an issue. I would be more concerned if last year he’d been a novice hurdler and now he was going over fences without having been in a big field. But he’s run in big fields before, he has that experience, so that aspect doesn’t matter. The amount of runners doesn’t make any difference. What we need to do is get him jumping as many fences as possible.
I then ride Un Temps Pour Tout in the Hennessy Gold Cup against Native River. Let’s hope Native River tired himself out trying to keep up with Thistlecrack. My horse is in great order. I was very pleased with his performance at Aintree. He seems in top form again. I schooled him during the week and he felt in great order. He’s very fit. Everything has gone smoothly with him and I couldn’t honestly be happier with him. The only negative, and it’s a big one, is that I don’t know how on all known form he can finish ahead of Native River on these terms based on their previous meetings. That said there is no reason to believe that he hasn’t improved. He is still a young horse, so perhaps he has improved over the summer and that will help him close the gap.
I won the race on Madison Du Berlais in 2008 and have had some good rides in the race. It would be nice to win it again. It’s a wonderful race and is one of the jump season’s Classics. I’m glad I have a good ride in it again. It will be another fantastic renewal.
Sunday rides at Carlisle
On Sunday I’m riding La Vaticane up at Carlisle in the 2.30. She was unlucky not to win last time. Nick Schofield had a brainwave and tried to put me through a wing as we came down to the last and it cost me the race, and got him a few days holiday. It was frustrating at the time but hopefully she can make amends on Sunday. David has found a really nice race for her. On official ratings she comes out on top. She hasn’t been the most consistent of mares in the past but that was a really solid performance last time around Market Rasen. She should take a lot of beating.
I ride Largy Bull in the 1.55, and I really like him. I rode him for the first time when he was fourth around this track last time and he’s a nice horse. He will handle everything and he could go really well. It wouldn’t surprise me if he won. He has to improve a little bit but I see no reason why he won’t and I think he has a live chance.
Carlisle is a good galloping track. It’s stiff and takes a good bit of getting. You need a nice staying type there. It’s a good place to run a novice chaser as the fences are well presented and positioned. It’s mainly about stamina rather than speed, although they have two hurdle tracks and they are very different. They are like chalk and cheese. The traditional hurdle course is very stiff, you need loads of stamina. But the new hurdle course is on the inside of the track, and that is a sharp track which presents a much speedier test. It often suits front runners.