TOM Scudamore will return to York this Saturday aiming to secure a second successive win in the £25,000 “Jump Jockeys’ Nunthorpe” backed by Sun Bets.
The race is yet more valuable than last year when Scudamore paired up with Tylery Wonder to win the inaugural staging, by an impressive four lengths.
Twelve months on and ‘Scu’ is set renew acquaintance with the Paul Midgley-trained gelding.
The weekend’s race sees many of his jump jockey colleagues swap stamina-laden hurdlers and chasers for the speedsters of the Flat.
They will race over the same flying five furlongs as used for the famous Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, every August.
A huge crowd will be there to cheer them home, as capacity has already been reached on the Stands Side ahead of the day. This means that those who did not buy tickets in advance will need to view from the refurbished Clocktower Enclosure which will open for sale at 11.15am on Saturday.
Scudamore said: “It was a great experience last year. I got a huge buzz out of it – it’s something I really enjoyed.
“Riding in a sprint is something we only get to do once a year. It’s something we all look forward to and we’ve been winding each other up for weeks about it, really!
“It’s a lovely day out and we get well looked after. It’s a different experience.
“None of us get the opportunity to go racing at York – normally there’s jump racing on the same day. It’s a fantastic racecourse.
“I suppose it’s a bit like a busman’s holiday. You are going there to work but it’s a different thing. It’s something we all want to be part of.’
Scudamore also hinted that the date has been in his diary for a while now.
He added: “I’ve been in touch with Paul throughout the year if I’m honest. He has got a great record, training sprinters. Hopefully we can team up to good effect again.”
Scudamore maintains that it will be good fun. But Yorkshire-based Midgley – a former jump jockey himself – laughed as he said: “Whenever there’s prize money involved, don’t worry, they always take it seriously!”
And Midgley, who trains at Westow, is delighted to once more be able to call on Scudamore’s expertise.
He is hoping that the man who rode Thistlecrack to King George VI Chase glory at Kempton in 2016 can revive Tylery Wonder.
The eight-year-old has yet to win this season and his official handicap mark is 4lb lower than when he triumphed previously at York.
Midgley said: “Tom is a proper gent. It was great to get him on board last year and he gave him a peach of a ride. It was him that won the race as much as the horse.
“Tylery Wonder is probably not in quite as good form on the racecourse this year going into the race. But luckily Tom has stuck by him.
“He has become well handicapped again but at the same time he has become well handicapped for a reason.
“He is a horse that loves a flat galloping track and that’s one thing he must have for him to be at his best. Hopefully he’ll go and run a good race for Tom on Saturday.”
The first race of seven at York on Saturday has a scheduled start time of 1.35pm.