Tom Scudamore: ‘Winning the Grand National would be the pinnacle of my career.’
Coral ambassador previews his Saturday Aintree rides, including Cloth Cap in the Grand National
Our man Tom Scudamore looks ahead to his rides on Grand National Day and tells us what it’d mean to win the Grand National.
I have a ride in this competitive handicap chase that precedes the Grand National.
I’m a professional jockey and taking this ride is all part of my job, I’ve just got to get on with it, and do it justice as connections have put their faith in me.
I’ve had National days in the past where I’ve been sat around all day waiting, and others where I’ve been busy riding, you just have to deal with whatever a particular year brings.
As for Hold The Note, he ran very well to finish fourth at Cheltenham last month, he’s just about the best maiden chaser in training! As I say this is a competitive race, but he’d have to go there with a solid chance.
The first thing to say is it’s a huge privilege to be riding the favourite in the Grand National.
It is the one race that everyone wants to ask a jump jockey about, and obviously my family has a great history in the race, with grandfather Michael winning it, and dad Peter closely involved as an assistant trainer with two winners.
Being on the favourite for this race does mean everyone wants to talk to you about it, as I say that is a privilege and it is nice to be talking about, but also it does get to the stage where as a sportsman you get fed up with the talking, and you just want to get on with it, actions do speak louder than words!
In terms of the preparation on the day, I’ll try to make it as normal as it can be. I’ll be staying with my brother Michael on Friday night, and I’ll ride out with his string on Saturday morning, before heading off to Aintree.
That journey in will obviously be very different, with none of the usual crowds heading to the track, and once I’m there I’ll just try to make it feel as much like any other race day as it’s possible to in these circumstances.
Cloth Cap is favourite, and rightly so on the form of his last two wins, he’s been a revelation this season and I’m delighted to have kept the ride since his Ladbrokes Trophy win, so big thanks go to [the owner] Mr Hemmings for allowing me to ride him.
Trevor is a man who loves the National and I know how much pride it would give him to win this race again.
Cloth Cap has never been over the National fences, but the way he jumps gives every hope that he’ll take to them, and on what we’ve seen he’s got the stamina for this trip, although as always you never know until they try it.
He’s trained by the right man in Jonjo [O’Neill], I went down to Jackdaws to sit on him last week and couldn’t have been happier with him, I’ve been counting down the days since then.
All the interest there’s been in him – and me! – this week confirms the National is still the race as far as the public are concerned, it’s part of our heritage and that’s fantastic for us all.
I mentioned our family’s history in the race. I was aware of grandfather’s win from an early age, and although dad never managed to win it as a jockey – something his father did occasionally remind him of! – he was closely involved with winners Earth Summit and One For Arthur, so we all took an enormous amount of pride in that.
It would be the pinnacle of my career if I could win the race. I know my family are already extremely proud of my achievements as a rider, but winning the National and adding my own chapter to the Scudamore history in the race would make them all so proud.
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