THEATRE STEALS SHOW FOR SCUDAMORE
The Michael Scudamore-trained 14/1 shot Kingswell Theatre produced a game performance to make all and fend off his challengers in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase.
Ridden by Michael's brother Tom, the eight-year-old son of King's Theatre responded willingly to the jockey's urgings to maintain his lead up the punishing Cheltenham hill to score by three-quarters of a length from Vicomte Du Seuil (12/1) in second, with a further six lengths back to Urgent De Gregaine (7/2) in third.
Only 11th in the Glenfarclas Chase at this year's Cheltenham Festival in March, Scudamore was delighted with the way the gelding had reacted to the course today.
The Bromsash handler said: "He took to the fences nicely today. We know he stays having won the Devon National at Exeter in February and Tom gave him a great ride.
"A lot of credit has to go to Tom as in the home straight, he kept all the challengers at bay. He's always been a great judge of pace as he got it spot on there.
"It's been a long old summer. We haven't had a great time of things or a great start to the season, so to come here and get off the cold list like that means a lot.
"He came here in March for The Festival and he did take to the course. We came back here earlier in the week and gave him a school round and going over those fences really seemed to bring him to life."
"He is a dear little horse and we came here not thinking anything great with the Enda Bolger and JP horses but he had been well at home.
"Kate, my fiancée, looks after the horse and does all the hard work with him every day. I think I owe Tom a drink after that ride. The one thing that Tom does do - through Dad, I suppose, and the Pipe years - is that he a brilliant judge of pace. He got that about spot-on today.
"This is a very hard game and it's very hard to replace horses like Monbeg Dude, who was an absolutely star. Mysteree gave us a great year last year, winning the Eider Chase and finishing second in the Midlands National, but you need horses like him to keep you on the map.
"It's great for the owners, who have been with me for a few years now, and it's really special to give them a first winner here."
SCUDAMORE HAPPY WITH THEATRE PERFORMANCE
Jockey Tom Scudamore was all smiles after Kingwell Theatre produced a game performance to record a three-quarter of a length victory in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham this afternoon.
The 14/1 shot, trained by Scudamore's brother Michael, had to do things the hard way from the front but showed plenty of determination as runner-up Vicomte Du Seuil loomed up to challenge after the final fence.
The pair battled on well to deny the French challenger and Scudamore was full of praise for his mount after the race.
"It's not such a stupid race now is it?" said the jockey.
"He ran ok at The Festival (over the same course and distance) and, having been a cynic of the race for quite some time, he's given me a tremendous thrill and Richard Johnson was right - it is a great race.
"It's just like going hunting again. It takes you back to when you were a kid - you just go from fence to fence and try and remember where you're going. It's less about positioning and more about keeping your horse happy and moving forward. It's different but today it was good. He's really battled when Charlie (Deutsch - rider of the runner-up) came to me and, after he put down on me at the last, he's had to fight back. He wasn't going to be beaten.
"It's great for all the team - Michael said he was as fit as he could be. I'm very greedy - any winner is good - but of course it's special to ride one for Michael. It's great to ride a winner for my brother and the owners are good friends of the sponsors. I swore to myself that I would never ride in these races - I have never really liked them - but I enjoyed that!
"He filled up with confidence all the way through and was in good order. Michael said that he was as fit as he had ever had him and he needed to be. That was tremendous, absolutely marvellous."
3.00pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase
1 KINGSWELL THEATRE (John Murray) Michael Scudamore 8-10-07 Tom Scudamore 14/1
2 Vicomte Du Seuil (Mrs M Boudot) Emmanuel Clayeux FR 8-9-11 Charlie Deutsch (3) 12/1
3 Urgent De Gregaine (A Rasquier) Emmanuel Clayeux FR 9-10-13 Felix De Giles 7/2
2/1 Fav Auvergnat (Fell)
Tote Win: £14.00 Places: £3.70; £2.60; £1.40 Exacta: £211.50
FRENCH PAIR TAKE THE PLACES
Both the second and third-placed horses in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase, Vicomte De Seuil and Urgent De Gregaine, were trained in France by Emmanuel Clayeux. They finished three-quarters of a length and six lengths respectively behind the Michael Scudamore-trained winner, Kingswell Theatre.
Clayeux, who trains near Moulins in central France, said: "I'm very pleased, especially with Vicomte De Seuil [ridden by Charlie Deutsch] - it was a test for him and I think I will bring him back in January and probably in March for The Festival - I like Cheltenham.
"And for Urgent De Gregaine, he ran in the Pardubice 40 days ago [he finished second, a length behind the winner, under today's jockey Felix de Giles] and I think it was probably too soon. That was a very long, hard race and even though he seems in good form, I think he probably needed more time."