Tom Scudamore: “It all depends which Vieux turns up!”
Coral ambassador previews this weekend’s rides
Sandown 12.15 – Hereia
Hereia ran a nice race on his first run for Neil [Mulholland], making just the one mistake. He was a big price that day in what looks a decent contest, and he’ll improve for that, and while Nicky Henderson’s Palladium looks the one to beat here, my fellow should like Sandown.
I think Neil has found the right race for him here, I’m hopeful he’ll have a good chance.
Sandown 15.00 – Vieux Lion Rouge
A proper old favourite, as you’d expect in this Veterans’ Chase, Vieux Lion Rouge ran well for a long time last time in the Becher Chase, but he just didn’t finish that race as strongly as we’d have hoped, which was disappointing.
However, he has run like that before and bounced back, and on his very best form at tracks like Aintree and Haydock he’d be well handicapped here.
He’s never run at Sandown before though, and I’m not sure the track will play to his strengths, although ultimately of course it’s my job to ride him so it does play to his strengths!
He won the Chepstow Veterans’ Chase three runs ago, so in that sort of form he’d have a chance, but it all depends which Vieux turns up!
Plumpton 13.10 – De Plotting Shed
This looks a pretty hot novice chase, with Who Dares Wins setting a decent standard and looking well in here, but my horse has run well enough over fences in his three runs for Suzi Best, winning once, we’re joint second top rated here, and if [Alan] Kingy’s doesn’t fire here, we’ll hopefully be in a position to pick up the pieces.
Plumpton 14.40 – Rathlin Rose
I finish the weekend on another old favourite, Rathlin Rose in the Sussex National. He’s had a busy time of things, running in the Pardubice, the Cheltenham Cross-Country, and he ran well enough in the Coral Welsh National last week.
He does love his racing, on his best form he’d have an each-way chance here, although it is always a competitive race.
I’m looking forward to..
Dave [Pipe] has a lot of lovely young horses right now, and a horse I’m really looking forward to in 2020 and beyond is Israel Champ.
Having won two bumpers he’s not exactly a dark horse, but he wasn’t favourite for either race, and at Ascot last time he beat a well-regarded horse of Jonjo O’Neill’s [Soaring Glory].
He’s very much a horse for the future, and I’m sure the rest of this season will depend on the ground but given the right conditions we’d hope he was a Festival Bumper contender.