Scudamore ruled out of King George rematch


The original cast for the delayed Boxing Day special at Kempton is due to reassemble on Saturday, with only a few minor changes. In his attempt to win a record fifth King George VI Chase, Kauto Star is still due to face 10 rivals, chief of whom – in case anyone had forgotten – are judged by the market to be Long Run, Nacarat and Riverside Theatre.

One jockey will be missing; Tom Scudamore was yesterday ruled out of the ride on the 2009 runner-up Madison Du Berlais after damaging a kidney in a fall at Sandown on Saturday. "I took a bit of a kick," he said, "and a scan showed I'd torn a bit of kidney, and I've got to go back in two weeks for another scan." His replacement on the David Pipe-trained 10-year-old will be decided later in the week.

Despite his retaining stable, that of Alan King, sending runners to Warwick the same afternoon, Robert Thornton will keep his ride on Forpadydeplasterer. The Irish raider, runner-up in his last seven races, will be stepping up to three miles for the first time and, though the forecast rain is a matter of some concern to trainer Tom Cooper, the nine-year-old will line up.

"Soft ground is something we could do without," Cooper said yesterday, "but the plan is to travel over and have a go. And he won't get beat for lack of fitness, we've been able to keep on the go since Christmas."

The sympathetic reaction to the admirable grey chaser Monet's Garden's current illness – the Nicky Richards-trained 12-year-old is suffering from a life-threatening hoof infection – leaves no doubt about how much most of those involved in the sport care about the animals who provide their livings and entertainment.

Rules about their treatment have rightly been tightened up over the years and yesterday the British Horseracing Authority confirmed that a high-profile jumps trainer will next month face charges relating to a serious welfare breach. Howard Johnson, who has had stars like Inglis Drever, Direct Route and Tidal Bay under his care, has admitted running a horse that had undergone a neurectomy, an operation to desensitise the back of the foot by partially removing the nerves that serve the area.

It is normally used as a last resort to alleviate the pain associated with navicular disease (the problem plaguing Monet's Garden) and can be effective on animals in retirement. But horses are forbidden to race after a neurectomy, on the grounds that if they cannot feel pain they have no defence against doing themselves further damage.

The chaser Striking Article, who carried the colours of Johnson's chief patron Graham Wylie, ran eight times after undergoing surgery. The neurectomy was discovered during a post-mortem after the horse was destroyed after suffering a fatal injury at Musselburgh last year. Co Durham-based Johnson will also face charges, the result of a separate investigation, over the administration of anabolic steroids to three different horses.

For his treatment of Striking Article, which is being considered under the rule covering his profession's duties and skills, he could face a ban of up to 10 years for wilful neglect.

Looking forward to the next Flat season, Australian middle-distance star So You Think has arrived at Ballydoyle ahead of his European campaign. And looking back at the last, Timeform has judged runaway King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Harbinger worthy of the exceptional rating of 140, matching that of Sea The Stars the previous year.

Turf account

Sue Montgomery's Nap

Sophonie (12.40 Newcastle)

Already winner of a chase in France, she had every chance when falling two out in a similar race last time.

Next best

Featherbed Lane (3.00 Leicester)

Made a promising hurdles debut when third at Huntingdon, then found the company too hot at Newbury.

One to watch

Bobby Gee (R Robeson) has benefited from surgery to help with his breathing, gaining two wide-margin victories.

Chris McGrath's Nap

Do It For Dalkey (3.10 Newcastle)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: E-commerce Partnerships Manager

£50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a newly-created partne...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Co-Ordinator - FF&E

£35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior FF&E Project Co-ordinator is re...

Recruitment Genius: Part Time Carer / Support Worker plus Bank Support

£10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A delightful, 11 year old boy who lives in t...

Recruitment Genius: Office Furniture Installer / Driver

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Furniture Installer /...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor