Scudamore Says: “My heart would say Cue Card”
Tom Scudamore leads us through Friday at Cheltenham
I start out tomorrow in the Triumph Hurdle where I ride Magie Du Ma. It is her belated English debut. She was a nice fully on the flat but we know this is going to be a big ask for her but we are happy to give her a go.
Baltimore Rock is my mount in the County Hurdle. I won on him in the Imperial Cup at Sandown. He likes these big handicap hurdles. He has been running over fences, slightly disappointingly but it would not be a surprise to me if he was in the shake-up here.
In the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle I am on board Elegant Escape. He is stepping up to 3m which is a big plus. He probably has a bit to find with the leading protagonists though.
My final ride of the week at Cheltenham this year is Quite By Chance in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual. He was running well in the Autumn but his form has held off a little recently. Hopefully the occasion can spark him into life.
The Gold Cup this year looks to be a really exciting renewal. My heart would say Cue Card. He has been a wonderful horse over the years. He deserves to have a Gold Cup on his CV but then again there have been a lot of horses who you could have said that about in history and never won it. You could argue last year was his chance and he obviously came down near the end of the race. I am not certain he would have beaten Don Cossack though.
I would love to see Native River win for the owners. They have been great supporters of me and I have ridden lots of winners for them. The one thing which would concern me is when you look at Gold Cup contenders, they tend to have very good form or been near to top class over 2m. Cue Card was good enough to run in the Supreme and Arkle. They were even talking about running Djakadam in the Ryanair last year. You wouldn’t be able to say that about Native River. That would be my one nagging doubt. There is no concern about his stamina, he has proved that this season. Generally what beats Djakadam tends to win the Gold Cup. He might have improved but we have not seen much of him this season. Sizing John is the one for me. He proved he stayed last time in a stiff race at Leopardstown in the Irish Gold Cup. He has the speed for 2m and he is the one who is improving.