Tom Scu’s best Festival winners
The festive period is upon us and that means a sporting schedule chock full of elite-level horse racing. The highlight of the season is surely the Kempton Park Christmas Festival, with lucrative races such as the King George VI Chase trophy as well as the Christmas Hurdle, and the Desert Orchid Chase. But it is the former of those three that is surely the centrepiece of the action.
Last year, the victory, and the £250,000 prize pot were scooped up by Bravemansgame. Paul Nicholls’11/4 second favourite stormed to victory a mighty 14 lengths clear of Venetia Williams’ Royale Pagaille, staking his claim as a genuine contender for the Cheltenham Festival four months later. And with the upcoming action having plenty of Cheltenham implications, we decided to take a look at some great winners at the event from one of the greatest jockeys of the modern era, Tom Scudamore.
Arkle Trophy 2014 – Western Warhorse
Let’s kick things off with arguably the most surprising victory of the lot. In the 2014 Arkle Challenge Trophy, horse racing betting providers decided that Western Warhorse was a 33/1 outsider in a field of five. Few punters expected him to put up much of a fight against the likes of Champagne Fever and Trifolium. However, the underdog had other idea had other ideas.
Scudamore kept him at the back of the field until the final fence, at which point he unleashed a stunning burst of speed that saw him edge out the 11/4 favourite Champagne Fever by a head.
Festival Trophy Handicap 2016 – Un Temps Pour Tout
Next up is Un Temps Pour Tout, who won the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase in 2016. This horse was more fancied than the aforementioned Western Warhorse, going off at 11/1, but he was by no means a favourite. It was a race packed with talented horses, including Buywise, Village Mystic, and The Druids Nephew, but it was the 9/2 second-favourite Holywell that posed the biggest threat.
However, Un Temps Pour Tout showed his class, staying near the front of the pack throughout the race before pulling away in the final furlongs. He won by seven lengths, a comfortable victory that underlined his status as one of the best chasers in the sport. And what’s more? The duo managed to repeat the success and successfully retain their trophy the following year.
Ryanair Chase 2014 – Dynaste
Finally, we come to Dynaste, which won the Ryanair Chase in 2014. Unlike the two previous winners, this time around Scudamore and his horse were a short-priced 3/1 favourite going into the race, so there were high hopes for the vaunted double act. He didn’t disappoint, beating out some tough competition to win by seven lengths.
Dynaste had previously finished second in both the RSA Chase and the Jewson Novices’ Chase, so this win was a long time coming for both horse and jockey. And Scudamore’s victory was all the sweeter because his grandfather, Michael Scudamore, had won the very same race back in 1957 on Fortria, after whom a race at Ludlow is named.
Tom is now part of the family business running what was his brother’s satellite yard in Bromyard, housing raiders from the Perth base of father Peter and his partner and licence holder, Lucinda Russell.