Tom Scudamore: “Brinkley won his last race really nicely.”
Coral ambassador previews his rides and Stayers’ Hurdle
Tom Scudamore gives us his thoughts on his day three rides at the Cheltenham Festival and breaks down a competitive feature race.
Brinkley is a horse we’ve always thought a lot of, he’s won his last two – the second of them really nicely – and his novice hurdle win from Newbury last season has worked out well also.
We still don’t know what went wrong on his first run of the season when he was pulled up at Exeter, but as I say he’s put that well and truly behind him. His win at Wincanton was OK, but his last win, back at Exeter, was really impressive.
In an ideal world we could probably do with the ground being a little bit softer, but even so, it’s a stiff track and I don’t think he’ll have any issues handling better ground.
My biggest concern is whether a rating of 148 is somewhere near his ceiling, and that something lower down the handicap will have more in hand, but I’m very much looking forward to finding out.
It’s a shame Thyme Hill misses what would have been a third clash of the season with Paisley Park, but this still looks a competitive Stayers’ Hurdle.
That said, the favourite is the one to beat on his form of two years ago, and there were valid reasons for his defeat here last year, he comes here off the back of his Ascot win, and he would be an extremely popular winner.
Lisnagar Oscar was a surprise winner 12 months ago but could be heading back to top form, while Flooring Porter heads the Irish challenge.
David [Pipe] runs Main Fact, he’s a big price but whatever happens he’s been a star for connections and deserves his place here under Fergus Gillard who gets on so well with him.
My second ride of the day is on Dead Right for JP [McManus] and Neil Mulholland.
He’s obviously not been straightforward to train, but Neil has done a great job with him as when he does turn up and run his race, he’s never far away. He came back from ten months off to win at Market Rasen in September, that looked an OK race for the time of year and I’ve no concerns that this is his first run since then.
He’ll be fit and well, and gets in here off a nice low weight so he’s an interesting runner in what is again a typically competitive Festival handicap.
Whatever happens he’s a great advertisement for Neil’s talents as a trainer.