Tom Scudamore: Michael deserves Welsh National win
I was so delighted for my brother Michael last Saturday when he trained Monbeg Dude to win the Coral Welsh National. He only trains about 20 horses, and it is a very close-knit team. For a small yard to go out and win a big race like that is phenomenal. Never in our wildest dreams did we think he would win the Welsh National, and it was incredibly emotional for all of us.
It is just reward for all his dedication and talent, and I hope it brings him some new owners. I am so proud of my brother. He is one of the nicest people in the world and it is lovely that everyone seems so pleased for him after the win.
We have always thought a lot of the horse, and I have done a lot of work with him at home, so I know him well. Being such a small yard, the handful of people who work there are all very close to the horses, which seems to make it all the more special. And it is great for Mike Tindall Bloodstock!
It is the only horse Mike has purchased and he bought him unseen at an evening sale held on the racecourse after racing. Mike had been at the races with James Simpson-Daniel and Nicky Robinson and they had had a good jolly, to say the least. As the horse came through the ring, Mike stuck his hand up, as it was the only one at a realistic price, and bought it.
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My brother, Nicky, Mike and James all paid £3,000. It's complete luck, really, which is what buying racehorses is all about. You get the agents talking the talk, but it is luck at the end of the day.
The four of them are all very good friends. My brother used to play a lot of rugby and got to know James, who is really keen on his racing, when he was really young. Through him he was introduced to Mike and Nicky, and the rest is history.
We did not manage to have a party that night due to everyone's sporting commitments, but I am sure that soon we will have dinner out together to celebrate.
Monbeg Dude's Cheltenham Betfred Gold Cup entry is wishful thinking, as he has about a 100-1 chance, but they have put him in as he may keep improving, and if he wins the Grand National Trial at Haydock he would probably go.
As regular readers of this column will know, Overturn is one of my favourite horses in training, and yesterday he was incredibly impressive winning a novice chase at Doncaster.
The Arkle is shaping up to be one hell of a race, as Simonsig is awesome too. They have both set an incredibly high standard.
I have always told my daughters I'm really James Bond, and I think they are now convinced after I won on Gevrey Chambertin at Wincanton and then jumped on a helicopter to ride Master Overseer in the Welsh National.
Gevrey Chambertin was very good. He's a good horse but there's nothing flashy about him, and he never feels that impressive to ride. But he just jumps and gallops relentlessly and, while he may not give you the greatest feel, when you look behind they are all strung out – like the washing.
I'm not sure where I am over the next few days, but it looks like I may have a day off on Sunday, and I'm sure Lottie will find me something useful to do.
Exeter's next meeting is on Wednesday, January 23, with the first race off at 1.20pm. The racecourse has introduced a one-off offer to dine in the Desert Orchid Restaurant for just £40 per person, which includes premier admission, a table for the day, access to the Tote and a meal of choice. Tables are selling fast. To book, call 01392 832599. Exeter's annual two for £10 race day (pre-booked tickets only, call 0844 5793005) is on Sunday, February 10, and its Cheltenham Preview Evening, with Paul Nicholls, David Pipe, Philip Hobbs, Andrew King, Paddy Power and Tanya Stevenson, is on February 21. Tickets are £20 each, including a meal, and are bookable at the racecourse office.