Tom Scudamore relives the fall that forced him on to the sidelines
Looking back to last Tuesday’s fall in which I suffered an injury to my knee, it all happened very quickly. I was travelling down to the second last at Huntingdon and we were just behind the leaders and at that stage we probably would have struggled to have won but we weren’t totally without hope, and just behind the eventual winner. I then fell at the second last but it wasn’t the actual fall that did the damage, it was the fact that we brought down the horse behind me, and that horse basically fell flat on top of me, rolled all over me, and I got my knee and leg wrapped around it and that’s what’s done the damage.
It all happened so quickly but I remember thinking ‘we’re falling’ but I thought he was going to find a leg as it had taken a long time to go down. I think he was just going to get back up and then the horse behind us galloped straight into the back of us and knocked us over. It all then happened so quickly and I was just hoping that the pain would subside.
First of all when you fall you want to stay down because of the loose horses so you wait for them. But I’m also conscious that when I can, and so far I’ve always been able to, I want to get up. Even if I’m hurt and it’s not serious I get up because my wife Lottie might be watching at home, or my kids might be watching at home, so I want them to know that I’m alive and I’m going to live, and that it will heal. On this occasion I got up and tried walking but couldn’t. And then I was helped off, although I wasn’t stretchered off. AP always said he never wanted to get stretchered off the course, but for me it’s not a macho thing, I’m just imagining how worrying it will be if my Mum, or Lottie or the kids are watching at home.
I remember watching my Dad ride one day at Ascot and he had a bad fall and I was very worried. He was actually alright as it turned out but the horse had run out and gone straight into the wing of a fence. It turned out he wasn’t hurt he was just angry. On another occasion I was at home watching him on television, riding the same horse, Huntworth coincidentally, and he broke his wrist at Cheltenham and I remember them all rushing about. For the major injuries, like when he broke his leg, I was at school so I didn’t see any of that.
It’s a strange thing getting injured as one minute you’re looking forward to riding various horses and making plans, and the next minute you fall, get injured, and everything’s blank. But with these injuries, like when I did my shoulder, and now this, I don’t feel sorry for myself, and think “why me?”, I just think I’ve got to get better. I was actually lying in the racecourse medical room thinking “I’ve got to get better”. I’ve always been built that way. There will be a stage next week when I’ll get frustrated, particularly if I miss out on a few winners. Of course I’ll get pissed off but I’ll use that to drive me to get back as soon as possible.
A few years ago if this had happened I would be off watching other people riding my horses and worrying that I might not get back on them. Now thanks to the support of a major yard I know that I’ll be riding those horses when I’m back and I’ve just got to concentrate on getting back. If I was a freelance this would be a terrible time of the season to get injured because you’d be letting other people on your horses and you never want to do that, and that’s even the case with successful freelance jockeys.
I’m hoping I will be back for the Paddy Power meeting. It will basically be a couple of weeks going quiet and having a bit of physio, and let it settle down, and then I’ll see the consultant again on the 28th October. After that I’ll be really getting stuck into the rehab from there. We are looking probably at around a month and I won’t be cutting corners, I’m concentrating on getting it better.
I’ve visited the Bristol Rugby club to get their advice as they are used to these type of injuries, and I want to give myself the best possible chance.
The worst thing is that I’m at home but I can’t actually do anything. I can’t help the kids with their ponies, I can’t go for long walks, I just have to stay still and let it heal. I’ll watch all the racing I can, depending on the timings of the physio.
David has a lot of good claimers so I suspect he will use them mainly, the likes of Connor, Kieren, Michael Heard. They’ll have most of the rides. They work hard behind the scenes so they deserve the opportunities, so best of luck to them. We are all in it together.
Last week I wasn’t too disappointed in Dynaste in France at Auteuil. He stayed on really well. It blew away the cobwebs and wasn’t a bad run at all in what was a very competitive race. He was only beaten nine lengths yet finished ninth which just shows what good horses were in the race. It’s quite deceptive as it looks like they are hacking but it’s a real test, and then at the end they look like they’re sprinting but actually it’s usually the last horse off the bridle that wins. He has a few options next. The Betfair Chase and the race at Down Royal are possibles.
The Liquidator probably needed his first run of the season at Chepstow and will have done him good. It’s too early to write him off. Stars Over The Sea ran well for a long way in what was a fiercely competitive race. It was a really good jumps meeting at Chepstow. The Silver Trophy was a very good race and there will be loads of winners coming out of that race.
I think this Triple Crown is a load of nonsense, frankly. If you are going to spend a million quid, why give it to the best horse who’s already won those three big races. That’s good enough in itself. If the bonus was put up by a bookmaker that’s fair enough, but for Jockey Club Racecourses to put it up is a load of nonsense. It made me really angry seeing that. If they have got that kind of money why can’t they put on some big handicaps for a hundred grand? Spread it out a bit rather than aiming it at one horse.