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About Tom:

Tom Scudamore is a third-generation British flat and steeplechase jockey. He is the son of eight-time champion jockey Peter Scudamore; his grandfather Michael won the Grand National on Oxo in 1959. Tom provides Coral with all the latest insight and thoughts on his next rides.

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Scudamore says: “I think Southfield Royale has a very good chance of winning”

Top jockey has his say on his weekend mounts and some hot topics

Coral’s racing ambassador Tom Scudamore discusses his weekend runners at Haydock and Fontwell, as well as some VAR antics in midweek.

Saturday

12.55 Haydock – Le Frank

He ran okay at Ayr last time. He’ll be running on new ground at Haydock but conditions are still going to be very testing indeed.

I don’t know for sure how Le Frank will handle the conditions, although I see no reason why he shouldn’t cope with them. It was heavy last time at Ayr.

I was pleased with him last time but it’s only his fourth ever run and a handicap for the first time.

3.15 Haydock – Carole’s Destrier

He should have a good chance. He was second in the Hennessy to Native River and ran okay to a point in the Ladbroke Trophy last time, and could go very well at a price.

I give him a really good reach way chance. He should handle the conditions.

It’s one of those days where there won’t be many horses thriving in these testing conditions but instead, it’s about which horse handles them the best.

I haven’t ridden Carole’s Destrier before but have ridden him at home. I’m really looking forward to getting on him.

I’ve had a good chat to Noel Fehily about him and think he’ll give me a good spin. A repeat of his second to Native River would win this.

Neil Mulholland has come a long way in a short space of time. His yard is one of the most picturesque yards in the country. I go there most Fridays.

It’s just the most beautiful place just outside Bath. He’s a very thorough trainer, very sharp, intelligent and a really good man to ride for.

4.15 Haydock – Southfield Royale

Southfield Royale was fourth in the 4 Miler at the Cheltenham Festival a couple of years ago when Native River and Minella Rocco fought out the finish and Vieux Lion Rouge was in behind him.

It was a phenomenal race in terms of the horses that came out of it, but he’s been disappointing since then.

However, he ran much better last time out over hurdles at Haydock.

He should handle these conditions and if he can run as well as he did last time I think he has a very good chance of winning this.

Sunday

2.40 Fontwell – Mount Oliver

Mount Oliver unseated me last time out at Ludlow although we were beaten at the time.

On bits and pieces of his form, you could give him an each-way chance, but he’s going to have to bounce back from that run last time out.

Football, Cricket and Fantasy Football

Almost everyone seems to be talking about the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) in football this week.

After the Leicester game this week, when it worked well, everyone was saying how wonderful VAR was, and then the next day it was a complete balls-up and everyone was saying it was a shambles.

It just shows you can still get human error even with technology

That said, if you can get the video technology working as well as it does in Cricket and Rugby, where you can make the right decisions quickly, then I think it will be a good thing for football.

But they have to get it working well and quickly.

I remember when they first brought in the third umpire for cricket in a match England played against South Africa. They kept getting edges but the third umpire couldn’t hear them because the sound wasn’t switched on.

They couldn’t hear the nicks. There are often teething problems at the start but hopefully, they can be ironed out.

I’ve been listening to some of the cricket, with England winning for the second match in succession against the Aussies.

I think we now have to argue that One Day Internationals are more important than Test Cricket. There is no question the England one day team plays an exciting brand of cricket.

They are great to watch. That said in the Test matches the England side sometimes goes into one-day mode and it’s much less effective in that form of the game.

As far as football is concerned, I support Everton, as befits someone brought up in Cheltenham.

When I first went to school Everton were the Champions, my dad and brother were both Liverpool supporters so I supported Everton to be contrary.

I’m pleased to see the Theo Walcott signing. We definitely need a bit of pace in the current side. It has been a disappointing season so far, but hopefully, now we can have a better end to it.

We have a fantasy football league in the weighing room with thirty of us involved. Wayne Hutchinson is winning it by a country mile at the moment.

There is a bigger gap between Wayne and the second placed person than there is from second to eighteenth. I suspect he’s cheating somehow.

He must be getting an extra transfer each week or something. There needs to be an investigation into his performance.

He’s the Justin Gatlin of the weighing room fantasy football league. It’s run by Alain Cawley and it keeps us all entertained and gives the winner major bragging rights.

I’m sitting in a respectable tenth while Tom Cannon is a tailed off last. I finished sixth last year so hopefully, I can repeat that and claim a Europa League place.

Tom