Tom Scudamore and Wahiba Sands have a great chance in the big race at Ascot this weekend
Rising star Tom Scudamore is handed some plum rides at Ascot on Saturday following the decisionof Martin Pipe’s stable jockey A P McCoy to switch to Warwick.
Champion trainer Pipe, provides Scudamore, son of former champion Peter Scudamore, with a great chance on topweight Wahiba Sands in the big race, the £60,000 Victor Chandler Chase.
Scudamore also partners Pipe’s Image de Marque II against the Queen Mother’s First Love in the first and another Pipe-trained topweight, Upgrade in the Victorcasino Handicap Chase.
Wahiba Sands, once rated a potential two-mile chasing champion, has come good this season, beating the classy Best Mate in the First National Gold Cup in November and then getting the better of Get Real just before Christmas.
There is little between Wahiba Sands and Get Real, Redemption, who finished third, is not out of things, either. But Wahiba Sands should complete his Ascot hat-trick and give young Scudamore the biggest lift of his career.
Scudamore partners Benbyas for North Yorskhire trainer Les Eye against Venetia Williams’s Orsuno and the Nicky Henderson pair Regal Exit and Got One Too in the Victor Chandler Handicap Hurdle.
First Love could be the best horse to carry the Queen Mother’s colours for some time. He was impressive on his Sandown hurdling debut and can be expected to show further improvement in the opener.
McCoy, who broke his own record for the fastest 200 winners in a season on Native Man at Huntingdon on Friday, could gallop on with a Warwick treble via Seebald and Classified, both potential Cheltenham Festival winners, and Take Control, who could develop into a serious Grand National contender.
The Gerrard Tolworth Hurdle, transferred to Warwick from the recently abandoned Sandown meeting, invariably throws up a star of the future. This tag could end up round the neck of Ferdy Murphy’s Sea Drifting, who could book his ticket for the Cheltenham Festival.