Tom Scudamore thinks Stars Over The Sea can outrun his tasty odds
The last seven days has all been about rehab. I’ve been up to Bristol Rugby Club four times and they’ve been very helpful. When I get there I do an hour of physio and then I do knee stretches on a machine, that’s a bit like something out of Rocky IV. Then I start pushing against that. They are basically trying to make sure that all the muscles around the knee are still being worked, because once the knee ligaments are fixed, you need everything around it to be in the same shape.
Mentally I’m fine. I’ve just focused on getting better. I don’t see any point in sitting round and moping, crying “why’s this happened to me”. The quicker I can get better, then the better it will be. The injury has meant I can spend a bit of time with the family. It’s all worked quite well as I drop the kids at school then have a day of rehab up at Bristol Rugby Club, or I go to the swimming pool, where I’m not allowed actually swim but I can walk lengths as it’s quite a shallow pool. I do all my work and then come four o’clock I’m back home when they come back from school and I can see them again. That’s nice as it means I’m not just sitting at home watching the racing, and seeing what I’ve missed.
I’ve watched all David Pipe’s runners, as when I come back I’ll be riding these horses so I want to feel like I haven’t been away. There are lots of horses I wish that I’d ridden, in fact I would have liked to have ridden them all.
Looking at today’s card at Cheltenham. Next Sensation makes his comeback in the opener at 2.10pm and it’s a case of seeing where we are with him. I saw him the other day and he looks really, really well. It’s more of a case of seeing whether we go down the same route as last year. Is he a handicapper? He’s off a mark of 151 which means he’s in the in-between category. If he wins or runs well today then we may be going down the graded route and having a crack at the Champion Chase. Whether he’s good enough for that I don’t know. Otherwise he’ll continue to run in handicaps and he’ll find his mark again. Today is another fact finding mission. He loves Cheltenham, he’s run well there in the past, and he seems really well. He obviously meets the likes of Eastlake on worse terms but he beat him very well at Cheltenham. Liam is at Michael’s a lot and is a fantastic member of the team. He rode a third in the Grand National for my brother. He’s also a top guy.
Purple ‘N Gold runs for David and he’s stepping up in class. He’s been running so well over the summer, and is a bit of an unsung hero as he’s won on the flat, over hurdles and over fences. He always tries his best. However it’s one thing running round Fontwell and another taking on these horses round Cheltenham. I just hope he’s up to this level. But he’s fit and well and if he’s ever going to win a big prize it may be today, as he has fitness on his side and may just meet other horses a bit undercooked.
Stars Over The Sea runs in the 2.45pm. This time last year I really thought he was going to be a very good horse. He’s been good without quite hitting the heights yet. But he still might do. He ran well first time out, and just needed the run a bit. With that run under his belt I’d like to see Stars Over The Sea make serious improvement. He’s a horse with plenty of potential and ran some good races last season, including round Cheltenham, and I think he can outrun his odds.
Kie runs for David in the 3.20pm. He has gone from being one of the fastest two milers in the country to being an out and out three miler. He’s going to be an outsider. He’s probably high enough in the weights as the last time he won he was running off his joint highest mark. Then they out him straight up in the handicap. Realistically he’s got it to do.
Chic Theatre runs in the bumper at 5.40pm. We thought he’d run well at Newbury first time last year. You only go to Newbury with a bumper horse if you think you have a nice one, and he ran atrociously. He was basically lapped. It was embarrassing. I came back to the weighing room thinking he must just be a morning glory, and might never win a race. Next time at Plumpton, just two weeks later, he absolutely annihilated the field. If the horse that turned up at Plumpton turns up today then he could run a nice race.
Today I am actually going to watch Arsenal against Everton. Some friends are taking us up there, we are watching it in a box, and I’m not allowed to wear the blue of Everton, my team. It’s very kind of my friend to invite us, so myself and Lottie are heading up there which is exciting. I would obviously rather have been at Cheltenham riding, but I’m injured and so I’m very grateful that I’ve been given the invite to watch the game.
I see Kings Palace is favourite for the Paddy Power Gold Cup which has got me working even harder at my rehab and in the pool. He’s a good horse and I just hope he starts fulfilling his potential on the big days. He deserves to be favourite. He made a couple of bad mistakes at Cheltenham, and probably left Cheltenham behind when he landed on top of the ditch at Newbury, which is the first mistake he’d ever made. He wasn’t the same at Cheltenham and then didn’t run at Aintree because he schooled so badly beforehand. This time last year we were dreaming that he was a Gold Cup horse, and if he is a Gold Cup or a Ryanair Chase horse then he should be off a very good mark, and should be showing up well in races like the Paddy Power.