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                 Tom Scudamore

Today there are two jumps meetings, at Hereford and Wetherby but the stable does not have any runners.  American Sniper was due to run at Wetherby in the novices hurdle but we decided to wait and he now runs at Taunton tomorrow instead.  It is actually a busy day for the yard tomorrow, we have seven runners at Taunton and three at Lingfield so check back here in the morning for more news of our chances.

I unfortunately just got it wrong yesterday about Tom Scu's certain winner at Sedgefield, he lost out in a tight finish (by a head) and finished second!  Although I did not actually see the race it sounds like some novicey jumping was perhaps the difference between winning and losing in the end.  Today Tom Scu goes to Wetherby and despite not having American Sniper to ride, he still has two rides for Neil Mulholland and I think the second of those, Tango Boy has a great chance.  He runs in the 2.10pm handicap chase and was a course and distance winner last time on his seasonal reappearance.  A repeat of that run should see him go close and he is 11/4 second favourite in the Racing Post.

David Noonan and Philip Armson are both in action at Hereford while Fergus Gillard does not have any rides on the track today he is off riding out for Dan Skelton.  It is ultra competitive to get outside rides for jockeys these days away from the stable they are attached to and so we allow our jocks to ride out at other yards when we/they can.  Fergus has been riding out a day a week for the Skelton's for a little while now and has had a few rides for them.  It is good experience if nothing else and hopefully he will ride a winner or two for them throughout the season.

It was announced yesterday that the new whip rules for National Hunt racing will be introduced from February 6th 2023, the flat jockeys rules will take effect from March 27th 2023.  The jumps jockeys will get a bedding in period running from 9th January to 5th February (the flat jockeys also get a bedding in period before their start date).  While I don't profess to understand them completely, below is a summary of the five core recommendations which are being brought in to best preserve the perception of our sport and welfare of our horses while also recognising the importance of the padded whip plays in the safety and fairness of race riding:

  • Use of the whip for encouragement to be limited to the backhand position only
  • Threshold for acceptable use of the whip to remain at seven in a Flat race and eight in a jumps race
  • Development of a whip review committee responsible for evaluation of all rides and any necessary sanction or action, to increase consistency and drive ongoing improvement in riding standards
  • Increased penalties for offences, including doubled suspensions in major races
  • Disqualification introduced for offences in which the whip has been used four times or more above the permitted level in all races

I know Tom Scu was involved in the consultation process and fingers crossed things go smoothly when it is all introduced next year and it all works well for our beloved sport.

 There was a major shock in the football World Cup yesterday as the mighty Argentina were beaten 2-1 by Saudi Arabia.  Not a great start for them while the other game in Group C between Mexico and Poland finished 0-0.  I did watch a bit of France beating Australia 4-1 and it was a solid performance from the reigning champions despite going a goal behind early on.  In the other match in Group D, there was another 0-0 draw between Denmark and Tunisia.  There are four more games today with Germany and Spain getting their tournament underway this afternoon.  Germany play Japan at 1pm while Spain kick off against Costa Rica at 4pm.  In Group D, Morroco play Croatia at 10am while tonight Belgium play Canada at 7pm.

Joke of the day...My girlfriend gets mad whenever I mess with her red wine.  So I added fruit and lemonade to it and now she's sangria than ever!  Have a nice day!