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Cheltenham Festival 2014 Diary: Will Scu be the Dude at Aintree?


Everybody expected Ruby Walsh, Barry Geraghty and AP McCoy, with around 100 Cheltenham Festival  successes between them, to be among the winners again this week and they haven’t disappointed.

But the surprise package has been Tom Scudamore, who increased his career tally from two to five by  riding David Pipe’s three winners.

Now the son of eight times champion jockey Peter Scudamore is turning his thoughts to Aintree, where two of this week’s winners, Western Warhorse and Dynaste, may well turn out again.

But the cherry on the icing on the cake would be to ride the winner of the Grand National, something his dad never managed (though his grandfather did aboard Oxo in 1959).

Young Scu is not quite sure what he will be riding yet, but there are a few with decent chances on his list, including 25-1 chance Monbeg Dude, trained by his brother, Michael.

Persad a glutton for punishment

Everyone who winced as they watched Rishi Persad bouncing up and down for the last half of the St Patrick’s Derby charity race on Thursday after his saddle had slipped will be astonished to learn that he can’t wait to do it again.

“I’m surprisingly pain-free this morning,” reported the Channel 4 presenter. “But I don’t feel like I had a proper go and would love to be given another chance. Unfortunately, next year’s Cheltenham race is the last one and they might say I’ve had my turn.”

Lazy days ahead for Big Buck’s

Big Buck’s began his retirement yesterday following his failed bid to win a fifth World Hurdle title.

Trainer Paul Nicholls could see the writing on the wall for the old boy on Thursday even before halfway: “It was clear to me that all was not well, he was a bit short and choppy, which can happen when they’ve had leg trouble.

“But he’s been a legend. We’re going to carry on cantering him for now and then give him the summer off.”

Maguire looking for early release

Jason Maguire continues his recovery from surgery to remove part of his liver following his life-threatening fall at Stratford on Monday and could even be  discharged from hospital by the end of next week.

“He had a really good night last night and he might be out of there a bit sooner than we thought,” said friend Niall Hannity.

Let’s have More Of That again in 2015

That’s the 2014 Festival done and dusted, so what about 2015? According to the bookies, Jezki and The New One will fight out the finish of the Champion Hurdle; Sprinter Sacre will come back to beat Sire De Grugy in the Champion Chase; More Of That will beat Annie Power again in the World Hurdle; and they haven’t got a clue who will win the Gold Cup.

Oh yes, and the amazing Quevega will win a seventh Mares’ Hurdle, but that almost goes without saying.

Just 364 days to go.