Scudamore says: “The Scottish Grand National is going to be very exciting.”
Top jockey previews his chances at Ayr
I’m really looking forward to riding in the Coral Scottish Grand National this weekend at Ayr.
My best finish to date in the race is fifth and it’s definitely a tough one to crack, slightly different to any other.
Of all the Nationals this is the one where the emphasis is really on speed, as ridiculous as it sounds with a race of this distance.
This year I’m on West Approach, who is a half-brother to Thistlecrack.
Saturday – Ayr
Hopefully Vaniteux will finally get his ground on Saturday after what has been a frustrating season.
Every time I’ve ridden him I’ve been looking forward to the chance to do so on better ground and at the moment it looks like we’ll finally get it.
If we do avoid the rain he will have an outstanding chance, having won the race last year.
He’s a fluent mover who doesn’t want to get stuck in the mud and we should really see the difference in him with better ground. Fingers crossed it stays that way anyway!
If he gets the trip he will have a tremendous chance but there is a question mark over the four miles.
They’ll go a good gallop and it will be hard to come from off the pace, which is always the case in this race.
He ran a solid race last time out at Cheltenham with the blinkers on, possibly even his best run yet over fences.
Whilst that was only over two and a half miles it was the best he’s finished a race, even better than the wins at Exeter and Ffof Las, and that gives us hope that he will see the trip out.
He’s versatile when it comes to ground, jumps well, and if he’s still on the bridle coming to the home straight it’s going to be very exciting indeed.
His last two races have been better than they might of seemed and he stayed on well at Cheltenham on ground that he absolutely hated.
Finishing 9th in that race was certainly no disgrace and the step up in trip on better ground will really suit.
He isn’t the horse he was but he can still operate at a very high level and I think he’s my best ride of the day.
Sunday – Wincanton
4.25 – Shoal Bay
Up until his last two runs he had been progressing really well but was somewhat outclassed last time out in the Supreme.
His fourth place behind Summerville Boy reads particularly well now, the best run of his career, and Sunday’s calmer waters should suit him.
There’s no doubt he’s definitely my best ride of the day on Sunday.
5.30 – Coastal Drift
He will have to improve a lot on his previous form to hit the frame here but we’re hopeful that he can show us something different to his first run.
It would be unfair to judge him out his first time out and the experience might help him.
6.00 – Darlac
He’s ran in two point to points and in the last one he was second to a horse that’s now rated in the high 130s, Go With The Flow for Ben Pauling.
Whilst bumpers always go into the unknown he obviously looks like he’s got a high level of ability and can run well here.