Racing: Hernandita and Scudamore on path to Triumph

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The Independent Online

Tom Scudamore needs only one more winner to lose his riding allowance after Hernandita made a successful debut over timber in the juvenile hurdle at Wincanton yesterday. The winner earned a 33-1 quote from the Tote for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Now with Martin Pipe, Hernandita, a former inmate of John Dunlop's yard, made virtually all the running before finding a little more up the home straight for Scudamore's driving and galloped three and a half lengths clear of the Paul Nicholls-trained Santenay, who remains on 40-1 for the Triumph.

Scudamore was full of praise for the winner, who had decent form on the Flat, saying: "She just keeps galloping and jumping and is very tough and genuine. I wouldn't mind riding a few more like her."

The victory had Scudamore pondering his chances of lifting the conditional jockeys' crown and he added: "I am still in with a shout in the title race even though I'm now 11 winners behind the leader, Henry Oliver.

"He's going to be very hard to peg, back but I'm going to give it my best shot and with the help of Mr Pipe, who knows, I suppose there's a chance I'll get there as long as I stay injury-free."

The stewards were unhappy about Tom O'Connor's riding on Eastern Red who fell at the final hurdle in the same race. They found he had failed to pull up his exhausted mount and banned him for five days as they considered he had broken the rule regarding improper riding.

At Market Rasen the conditional jockey Tom Doyle was given the substantial sentence of a suspension of 12 days for taking the wrong course. The rider was on board Chatergold in the handicap chase which was eventually won by Fassan when, approaching the second fence, he switched his mount to the wrong side of the wings, carrying out Mamica who was behind them.

The conditional rider Carl Rafter faces a spell on the sidelines after breaking his collar- bone in a schooling accident yesterday morning when riding for his boss, Charlie Mann.

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