Tom Scudamore defends Thistlecrack, talks Ascot rides on Coral Hurdle day
Tom Scudamore blog defends Thistlecrack
I was really pleased with Thistlecrack last Friday. He made one mistake at the ditch, he just landed on top off it after taking off too far, but he learned from that and was very good after that. A lot of the criticism of his jumping has been over the top and nonsense really. I read in the Racing Post people saying he’d made several mistakes and was guessy and stuff like that. Well I just thought that was a load of nonsense, and trying to fill some pages.
He’s a very high profile horse and everyone is going to have their own opinions, and that’s fine, but as far as I’m concerned he’s jumped 20 odd fences in public and he’s made one mistake. Kauto Star fell in a three runner race on his second start, Un De Sceaux fell on one of his early starts and my horse has made one little mistake.
There’s more practice to be done and he will hopefully go to Newbury next week for his next start, but all in all I think some people have got carried away. Sometimes on a horse’s second start over fences they can get a bit bolder and a bit braver as they think it’s easy, and Thistlecrack can be an exuberant horse anyway when he wants to be, and it was just over-exuberance when he made that mistake.
When a horse goes from hurdles to fences the big worry is that they don’t change their technique, and they try and hurdle their fences. Thistlecrack isn’t hurdling his fences he’s jumping them properly and making a great shape, and the way he stood off the second ditch and the height he got was incredible. I’d have been far more concerned if he was hurdling his fences, but he’s not he’s jumping them well. He just has to work on it a bit more. We are talking fractions that he has to improve nothing major. It was exhilarating to ride him and I was very pleased with him.
I was delighted for Moon Racer winning on Sunday. I don’t think he’s got the credit he deserved. Some people said that it had turned into a tactical affair but to be honest he would have won however the race was run. The reason that I was always in the position that I wanted to be in was because he was the best horse in the race.
I ride Elegant Escape for Colin Tizzard in the first at 12.25 at Ascot. He won very nicely first time out this season and I think there’s more to come from him. I’m sure he’ll improve for that run and I think he’s got a good chance.
I’m getting a few rides for Venetia Williams which is great and I ride Cold March for her in the 3.15. He’s a course and distance winner. He’s a little bit higher in the handicap than his last winning mark but this is Venetia’s time of year, when she tends to have winner after winner after winner, so let’s hope Cold March can be one of them. She’s getting her big guns out now and Cold March must have a chance.
In the last at 3.50 I’m riding Going Gold for Rebecca Curtis in the bumper. He was a beaten favourite last time but that turned out to be a good race with the winner going on to win at Cheltenham. These bumpers are hard to gauge. I’ve sat on Ian Williams’ runner King of Realms before and he’s making his first start and felt like a good horse. At the time Rebecca was probably disappointed with Going Gold but I’m sure they are happier about it now, and he must have a good chance.
On Sunday I ride Abracadabra Sivola in the 1.20 at Exeter. I hope it goes better than last time when he fell and rolled all over me breaking a few ribs. He’s still well handicapped on the best of his hurdling form, and I’m happy about all the rain they are getting down in the West Country as he wants a real test.
In the 2.25 I ride No Ceiling for Ian Williams. He ran well last time at Worcester but this looks like a more competitive race. He’s going the right way.