IT was ultimately heartbreaking.

You only had to watch the former champion jockey Peter Scudamore pacing around the paddock before the Charlie Hall to know just how much a race can mean to a team.

Chappers interviews Nicholls after Bravemansgame's Charlie Hall win - but will it be deja vu after the King George on Boxing Day?


Chappers interviews Nicholls after Bravemansgame’s Charlie Hall win – but will it be deja vu after the King George on Boxing Day?Credit: Rex

Scu’s beloved Ahoy Senor, trained by his beloved Lucinda Russell, was back and there were great hopes.

But Ahoy Senor would blow out badly behind the impressive Bravemansgame. Back to the drawing board.

It’s a cliche, but it’s a great leveller, this game we love.

Scu will, of course, have experienced massive disappointments before in his riding days.

None more so than when Carvill’s Hill was famously harassed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup by Jenny Pitman’s Golden Freeze, a stable companion to the much better fancied Toby Tobias.

But it’s different as a rider. Jockeys have to move on. To a certain extent they are emotionally detached.

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There’s no doubt Scu was living every second with Ahoy Senor. And almost every second of the Charlie Hall will have hurt like a boxer’s punch that sucks the air out of you.

Russell was calm before the big race. Scu wanted to be in his own space.

Afterwards he responded to questions about Ahoy Senor like an absolute gentleman.

But as I talked to him I could feel his pain. It hurt me as well.

Bravemansgame was a very good Charlie Hall winner for the champion Paul Nicholls, but I’m not getting too carried away by him yet.

The likes of A Plus Tard and Allaho will be much tougher nuts to crack, and that’s not to mention Galopin des Champs who could be an absolute beast.


Personally, I’ll be surprised if he wins the King George and odds of about 9-4 are for me quite crazy.

So there you go, Paul. I know you’ll be the first to remind me of this on Boxing Day should he triumph.

Which is how it should be. A game of opinions whether they are right or wrong.

A quick word about Harry Skelton, who had a fabulous double at Wetherby with Molly Ollys Wishes and Proschema.

They were contrasting rides. The former all aggression and determination, Proschema from off the pace in some style.

I thought the rider was absolutely brilliant, and showed exactly why he’s been a worthy champion jockey even if he never lands the title again.

Skelton and Sam Twiston-Davies have really been on top of their game over the last few days and, while Brian Hughes will be champion again this term barring injury, there is plenty of talent out there.

By the time you read this I’ll be in Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup gearing up for the draw, which comes out on Monday afternoon local time.

I can’t emphasise enough how important the draw is in every race, let alone the relatively tight Keeneland track.

Check out all the news on the Attheraces social media feed and right here on Sun Racing – and I’ll bring you all the best interviews out there.


Mind you, I only just made it. On arrival at Heathrow I found I had bought my daughter’s passport and not mine, which was not ideal.

I rushed home in a black cab movie style begging the driver to ‘go as fast as you can’. In fairness he did. Good lad.

Having turned my place upside down – and I had left it immaculate for my return as I’m quite a tidy freak – I eventually found it tucked into a book. Phew.

Luckily the staff at the airport were incredibly helpful and while only checking bags in 45 minutes before scheduled take off all was OK.

Flightline took on a whole new meaning!

Many of you will know who I think will win the Melbourne Cup tomorrow morning, but just a reminder should he hack up I’m all over Gold Trip eachway. Just saying.

There should be mud and he was fourth in a muddy Arc.

Have a great week everyone and I’ll see you on Sky Sports Racing every day for all the best Breeders’ Cup coverage and, after the warm-up on Friday, you can get all my big-race selections for the Classic card in my Saturday column. Yeeehaaa!


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