Scudamore on Festival fall-out: We’ve got to go out and get it right

Tom Scudamore believes it is “deeds that matter” as British National Hunt racing continues its analysis of last week’s disappointing Cheltenham Festival.

The home side narrowly avoided a whitewash in the Cotswolds, with Irish runners winning 23 of the 28 races across the four days.

While trainers such as Harry Fry and Dan Skelton have conceded the superiority of the raiding party, plenty of figures in the industry have offered opinions as to how British racing should respond to the Irish domination.

Minella Indo led home an Irish one-two-three in the Gold Cup
Minella Indo led home an Irish one-two-three in the Gold Cup (Michael Steele/PA)

With British and Irish riders in separate changing rooms due to Covid protocols, Scudamore admits the mood was pretty low in the weighing room – with only Nico de Boinville, Ryan Mania, Nick Scholfield and Lorcan Williams striking gold on home-trained runners.

However, Scudamore – who is all set to partner Grand National favourite Cloth Cap at Aintree next month – thinks actions are more important than words moving forward.

He said: “It’s never a barrel of laughs when you’re getting beaten, but we’re all professional enough that from my point of view, I was just concentrating on my own thing.

“When you’re not riding winners, you’re not as much fun to be around. There was one corner of my weighing room that was a bit happier than the rest of us – in Nico’s (de Boinville) corner.

Shishkin was a rare British-trained winner at Cheltenham last week
Shishkin was a rare British-trained winner at Cheltenham last week (David Davies/Jockey Club)

“We felt the same as every other British person involved in racing. We well and truly had our backsides tanked and it’s up to us to go out and change it. There’s no point in complaining or moaning, it’s just a case of going out and getting it right.

“Last week was a lesson to everybody that we’ve got a lot of catching up to do. It’s the way it is, there’s no point in complaining.

“There can be plenty of talking about it, but it’s deeds that matter and we’ve all got to pull our socks up.”

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