Scottish Daily Mail


Eight-time champion jockey PETER SCUDAMORE’S verdict on the weekend action…



SIMPLY oozed class on his longawaite­d comeback after a breathing operation when winning the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury. Even allowing for the fact that Paul Nicholls would have left something to work on with runner-up Politologu­e, it was an extraordin­ary run. It looked like a piece of work for Altior rather than a race and it will be a huge shock if Nicky Henderson’s star (right, ridden by Nico de Boinville on Saturday) is beaten in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.


DID enough to be my likely Cheltenham Gold Cup pick with victory in Newbury’s Denman Chase for the second year running. Ironically, the injury that has kept him off the track all season might be a blessing in disguise as trainer Colin Tizzard will take him to the Festival a fresh horse. With question marks about most of the other contenders, including the mental strength of King George VI Chase winner Might Bite, Native River is a very solid candidate.


AN exciting talent for trainer Harry Whittingto­n who stepped up again with a clear-cut win in Warwick’s Kingmaker Chase. I don’t doubt his ability but the progeny of his sire Saint Des Saints favour soft ground. Wait till closer to the meeting before backing him for the Arkle Novices’ Chase when there is a clearer idea of the going.

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