Tom Scudamore on Thistlecrack, Many Clouds and his weekend rides
Top jockey Tom Scudamore previews his weekend rides at Sandown and Taunton and has his say on Thistlecrack and Many Clouds…
We were obviously very disappointed to get beat with Thistlecrack last weekend in the Cotswold Chase. The better horse beat us on the day. It was obviously very sad what happened to Many Clouds afterwards. We will take plenty of positives from the defeat. As far as I am concerned my horse is still the one they all have to beat in March for the Gold Cup at the Festival.
It’s going to be a different day and better ground next month so we remain very confident with our horse. The experience will stand him in good stead and I have come out of the race at least equally as excited about his Gold Cup chances as before his Cheltenham run.
Obviously the atmosphere became very flat once the news broke about Many Clouds’ passing. He was a very popular horse and it was a terrible ending to what was a fantastic race. There was a sombre atmosphere in the jockeys’ room and around the track. The spectators were still respectful to the winners but the atmosphere really did change as we all felt for the connections.
My opening ride at Sandown is on board Accord in the 12.40pm. The ground is expected to be Heavy tomorrow and this horse will have no problem handling the conditions. He slightly disappointed last time out at Market Rasen, having said that, looking back now it probably wasn’t that bad a run. He ran very well at Cheltenham the time before that. David Bridgewater’s horses seem to have returned to form recently. Accord is a horse he has always thought a lot of so don’t be surprised if he was to go in here.
I am on board Ultragold at 1.15pm for Colin Tizzard. The testing ground should be fine for him. He has had some good form in bits and pieces so far this season. It is a trappy little contest and looks very competitive but hopefully we have a strong chance.
In the 3.00pm I am riding Valhalla who probably has a little bit to find in this Grade Three contest. He is a horse who has not been the most consistent. He will have to improve if he is to match some of the leading principles in the race but as we have seen time and time again this season, you cannot rule out any of Colin’s horses.
I am also on board Sandy Beach for Colin in the 3.35pm. He is a very versatile horse. He won over 2m around Chepstow last season and now we are running over 3m. This is a typical competitive Sandown chase. On his day my horse will have a very good chance.
On Sunday I am travelling down to Taunton for four rides. The first of which is Daklondike in the 2.50 which is a handicap hurdle. He was a solid third on his reappearance but then he stepped up to win around Lingfield. He is a horse who is going the right way and he will end up a nice chaser at some point. I hope he can go in again at Taunton.
At 3.20 I am with Monte Wildhorn who has not been on a racecourse in 516 days. I have ridden him twice before and he always seemed to me like he wanted to go over fences. We will learn more after his run as it is difficult to know how he will return after his lengthy break.
I am looking forward to riding Dell’ Arca again in the 3.50pm. He is one of the old servants in the yard. He went really close last time at Kempton where he was only just touched off late on. A repeat of that run would put him in with a big chance.
Finally, at 4.20pm I will be on board Abracadabra Sivola. He has stepped up with every run this season. He ran a blinder at Wincanton last time out. He should have a good chance in this race so I am hopeful I can end the day with a winner.