Meet Tom Scudamore

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  • Family values are a winning formula. Grand National-winning jockey Michael passed on his own high standards to his eight-times champion son Peter, who in turn is keeping a fatherly eye on Tom.

    In recent weeks 18-year-old amateur rider Tom has shot into the limelight, with the most important victory of his rapidly flourishing career on Maid Equal in the Weatherbys Hurdle at Ascot.

    Young Scudamore, with 19 winners this season (2000/2001), was not the first rider to stand high in his irons, turn towards the Ascot grandstand and punch the air in celebration of his greatest moment in the saddle.

    “There are certain points and principles I try and get across to him,” said Peter. “Punching the air is neither here nor there, but I do think he is wrong doing it. Of course, I understand he wants to celebrate after his first big winner.

    “All I say is don’t do it again. He could fall off and things could go wrong. His job is to getthat horse past the post. And he knows it is the horse, not him.

    “There are two or three things I try and drum into him. Of course, it doesn’t get home to him straight away. It’s about having a technique and adapting that technique. I tell him about positional riding, where to be during a race. Also being positive once he has set his horse towards a fence. You often get your falls when you are in doubt going into a fence.

    “My father did the same for me and that gave me an advantage. Now Iam trying to be constructive with Thomas. I am not criticising. Anyone who wants to reach the standards of the McCoy’s, Johnson’s, Fitzgerald’s and Williamson’s has to concentrate all the time.

    Tom is a talent, all right. He is a lucky boy, too.Not many young jockeys at this formative period of their riding lives can draw on such a wealth of experience in their own family.

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