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Racing: Living up to a Dynaste

Second careers for sportsmen can be difficult choices, but Tom Scudamore showed that he could follow the likes of Rory Bremner and Jon Culshaw as an impressionist at Cheltenham last week.First up was his take on Paul Carberry, perhaps the most naturally gifted rider of his generation.

Tom Scudamore clears the last to guide Dynaste to victory at Aintree in April                                                                                 Photograph: Getty
Tom Scudamore clears the last to guide Dynaste to victory at Aintree in April Photograph: Getty

Carberry had won the Welsh National at Chepstow last season having given Monbeg Dude a copybook waiting ride and Scudamore did the same 10 days ago with an ice-cool performance for the horse's first win in nearly a year.

Then, in a post-race television interview, Scudamore gave a hint of his range with something more akin to Gwyneth Paltrow's tearful Oscar speech after an emotional family triumph for younger brother Michael, whose struggling training career has been sustained by Monbeg Dude. Who says hard men do not have a soft side?

"It was just a wonderful moment to ride a winner for Michael at Cheltenham," the jockey said. "And it meant a lot because he'd been having a bit of a rough time, lost a few horses, and he's worked so hard to turn things around."

The elder Scudamore has worked hard to live up to the family name that his father and grandfather, Peter and Michael, carved into the sport's roll of honour and he aims to make his own mark when he rides Dynaste in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Thursday.

"I always wanted to be a jockey and it was simply whether my weight would be good enough and I was good enough," he said. "There was a stage, about 14 or 15, when my rugby was going very well and I looked like I was going to be too big to be a jockey.

"But then I didn't grow and everyone else got taller and I decided that I'd rather get rolled over by a ton of horseflesh than a big, fat prop."

Dynaste rolled over the opposition to win the Feltham Novices' Chase by nine lengths at the corresponding Kempton meeting last year and went to the Cheltenham Festival as one of the best-backed favourites for the week, only to finish second.

"The way he destroyed a Grade One field was very exciting," Scudamore said, before his voice took on a more pained edge.

"At Cheltenham he just wasn't at his best on the day that mattered most. When I gave him a kick between the last two fences, nothing happened. It was a very hollow feeling."

Dynaste filled that void by winning at Aintree next time out and proved that he can take on the best by finishing second to Cue Card in the Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock Park last month.

The formbook says Dynaste has to make up four-and-a-half lengths in the rematch and Scudamore admitted: "He beat me fair and square on the day and there were no excuses, so how do we turn it around?

"It's a different day and a different racecourse. Cue Card had had the benefit of a previous run, which we hadn't. So if we can improve as much as he did from his first run that gives us a chance.

"But it's not just those two. There's a lot of good horses in the race - Al Ferof, Silviniaco Conti and Long Run - and you could run the race five times and maybe get five different results. It's going to be a case of who's best on the day."

Dynaste is trained by David Pipe whose father, Martin, forged a famous partnership with Peter Scudamore. However, they failed to win the King George, something which is not lost on the son as he attempts to rise to one of jumping's great occasions.

"We've been second and third so already we've got a better record than the old men put together but it would be nice to put it right properly this week."

That would certainly make the right impression.

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