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Tom Scudamore previews his weekend rides exclusively for Coral

Tom has a couple of rides this weekend that he’s really looking forward to…

SATURDAY

I’m looking forward to riding Buster Thomas in the first at Warwick at 1.30. He won well at Lingfield and I like him. Emma Lavelle says there is plenty more to come from him as well. She thinks he’ll improve for that run. The conditions at Warwick aren’t going to bother him and whilst it’s a little step up in class I think he’s ready for it. He’s related to Shotgun Paddy who Emma has done so well with. I was very taken by him last time.

Warwick can ride quite a quick track for chases because the fences come so thick and fast down the back particularly, but it’s a stiffer test over hurdles and it’s a very fair track, and one I’ve had a good bit of luck at. The ground there will be hard work, just the same as everywhere else at the moment, and the track is very fair. It doesn’t hold any mysteries that’s for sure. It will be nice to see how Buster Thomas performs following that first run. He’s a very likeable individual.

I ride Whizzey Rascal for Gordon Elliott in the Mares’ race at 2.05. He’s found the right race for her again. She bolted up at Ayr two runs ago and then won okay at Bangor last time. She’s improving and deserves to take her chance in this grade. Dickie Johnson rode her on her last two starts and I’ll make sure and have a chat with him to get his input.

In his latest blog, Dan Skelton focuses on his weekend runners rather than Kempton's future.

Tom has a ride booked for fellow Coral Racing Ambassador, Dan Skelton

In the Kingmaker Chase at 2.40 I ride Two Taffs for Dan Skelton. It’s a nice ride to pick up. It’s a competitive race although it’s not as hot as it looked at the entry stage. It’s cut up a little bit. He’s a decent horse and I’m looking forward to riding him.

In the 3.50 I ride Obistar for David. He fell on his first run over fences last time so he’s back over hurdles. He can be a bit of a lazy individual so I’ll certainly be earning my fee on him. I’ll be pushing and kicking for a long way, making is mind up for him. His owners, Garth and Anne Broom, are lovely people, the same in defeat as they are in victory. They are a real pleasure to ride for. They love their chasers, and everything they buy is with a view to go chasing. They will be at Newbury cheering on Native River but they’ll be watching Obistar on the telly. They are very loyal owners and great to ride for.

In the last race I ride Full for David Pipe on his first start in England. Talking about decent owners, this horse is owned by a man called Joe Moran who in years gone by has owned some top class horses with David like Pablo Du Charmil and Tresor De Mai. Joe hasn’t had a horse with us for six or seven years now, and it’s great that he’s back in racing and I’m really looking forward to riding for him again. Joe is another person who has been very good to me. In my early days when I was coming through the ranks he was always really supportive of me so it’s a pleasure to be riding a horse for him again. I think David has found a good opportunity for Full. I’ve schooled him at home and he’s done everything we’ve asked of him. Some French horses take to racing here straightaway while others take a few runs, so we’ll so how he goes. He’s certainly showing all the right signals.

SUNDAY

In the first at Exeter at 1.50 I ride Mr Clarkson, which is a great name as he’s by Jeremy. He was second to Finian’s Oscar in a point to point. He’s been unbeaten since coming over here but I’ve been at other meetings both times he’s won. So it’s the first time I’ve ridden him in a race. He’s done really well so far and showed a really good attitude as well. He’s had to battle in both the bumper and the novice hurdle that he’s won. His future lies over fences and he’s a nice horse. It’s his third run at Exeter too which is just the way the races have worked out.

Finian’s Oscar (Tom O’Brien) runs on from the final flight in the Tolworth Hurdle Sandown 7.1.17 Pic: Edward Whitaker

The form line of Finian’s Oscar looks to be the key to Tom’s first two rides on Sunday

I ride Taws against Finian’s Oscar in the 2.20. She’s a good horse on the flat, but has probably got plenty to find with Finian’s Oscar. Taws ran a good fourth on her debut and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we followed Finian’s Oscar home. That run at Fontwell was decent as My Khaleesi is a good yardstick and Taws probably needed the race a little bit. There is no reason why she shouldn’t step up a good bit from that first run on Sunday.

The Tizzards have liked Finian’s Oscar from the word go. Everyone was trying to buy him when he went through the Cheltenham sales, and Colin and Alan Potts got him. He wasn’t under the radar or anything like that, he was the pick of the Sale. He’s proved everyone right as he’s now a Grade One winner and he’ll go to Cheltenham as one of the favourites for whichever race he lines up in.

In the Pertemps Qualifier at 2.50 I ride one of five David Pipe horses, Eamon An Cnoic. When David has more than one runner sometimes he chooses which horse I ride and on other occasions I choose. This time we both agreed that Eamon An Cnoic was the logical choice in the race. Dell’ Arca has a bit to find, Red Sherlock is coming back off a long layoff, Virtual D’Oudon likewise. Eamon An Cnoic has a good chance. We are stepping him up a good bit in trip and this will tell us if he stays. I’ve always felt that he would get three miles but he hasn’t tried this trip yet. He has massively improved this season, and Sunday will determine which route we take with him for the rest of the season.

Katkeau

Katkeau (left) is Tom’s ride in the 3.20 at Exeter on Sunday

In the 3.20 I ride Katkeau of David’s two runners. It’s a terrific Veterans’ Chase, and the whole card at Exeter is fantastic. Katkeau ran well for a long way in the Welsh Grand National until stamina ran out. I think he’s got a good chance. But so has Shotavodka who looked like he was coming back to form last time around Uttoxeter. I just decided to pick Katkeau because of the way he ran at Chepstow but this was a very close decision. It was a tough one.

Sir Egbert is my final ride of the day in the last race at 4.50. He ran well at Warwick last time but this looks a tougher race, so he will need to step up on what he did there.

Tom

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Check out Tom’s other blogs in his archive here.