Scudamore Value To Knock Ruby Off His Perch
Top Cheltenham Jockey
Will it be a case of Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, or will Tony McCoy make his final Cheltenham Festival one to remember? It’s all to play for in the market for Leading Jockey.
Another Title For Ruby?
This market is often a thriller, which comes down to the final day of the festival, with several names still in the mix, as was the case last year when four jockeys shared the title with three wins apiece. One of those was Ruby Walsh who has now won – or shared – the Leading Jockey title in six of the seven years.
Punters have taken note of that excellent record, and the fact he has so many choice rides via the mighty Willie Mullins yard, who has leading fancies in Un De Sceaux (4/7, Arkle Chase), Douvan (7/4, Supreme Novices’ Hurdle), Annie Power (7/2, OLBG Mares’ Hurdle), Don Poli (3/1, NH Chase), Nichols Canyon (4/1, Neptune Novices’ Hurdle) and Vautour (9/2 Arkle Chase).
Walsh will no doubt be licking his lips at the prospect of riding the aforementioned runners, hence why his odds to become Leading Jockey once more are 4/9.
Past Cheltenham Festivals
3 wins – Ruby Walsh, Tom Scudamore, Barry Geraghty, Davy Russell
4 wins – Ruby Walsh
3 wins – Bryan Cooper, Barry Geraghty
5 wins – Barry Geraghty
2 wins – Tony McCoy, Jason Maguire, Ruby Walsh
5 wins – Ruby Walsh
2 wins – A Lynch, A McCoy, D Russell, R Johnson, Mr D O’Connor
3 wins – Ruby Walsh, Barry Geraghty
2 wins – Ms K Walsh, P Brennan, A Lynch, R Johnson, A McCoy
7 wins – Ruby Walsh
3 wins – Barry Geraghty
3 wins – Ruby Walsh, Robert Thornton
2 wins – Davy Russell
Geraghty The Value?
A glance at the above stats show that Barry Geraghty has actually won and shared the title on three occasions, and he looks to have good prospects with some of Nicky Henderson’s runners such as Peace And Co (7/4 Triumph Hurdle) and Sprinter Sacre (3/1, Champion Chase), along with his outside rides. For someone who has been right on Ruby Walsh’s heels in recent years, odds of 7/1 look tempting.
Let’s not forget Bryan Cooper, though, who was only one winner behind Walsh in 2013 courtesy of a treble, and will pick up some of Willie Mullins’ rides. Cooper will also have some exciting prospects via Gordon Elliott’s runners, including Don Cossack (7/2, Ryanair Chase), Road To Riches (8/1, Gold Cup) and No More Heroes (7/1, Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle). There has been plenty of support for Cooper of late, yet he is still available at a juicy 7/1.
The Real McCoy
But what about the man of the moment, Tony McCoy, who will be riding at his last Cheltenham Festival – can the 19-time champion jockey make it one to remember? McCoy has performed miracles on a number of runners at this venue down the years, including Wichita Lineman in 2009, and there will be a fair few trainers offering the champ some choice rides in an attempt to give him a good send off at his final festival.
Sam Twiston-Davies also has to come into the reckoning, as he will be picking up rides for Paul Nicholls and father, Nigel, who has sent out numerous winners here. Twiston-Davies has live hopes via The New One (3/1, Champion Hurdle) and would not be the most unlikely of 10/1 shots to land a first title here.
But, if there is one price that may give backers a run for their money over the four days,
then Tom Scudamore fits the bill having shared the title 12 months ago courtesy of three winners.
Currently third in the 2014/15 jumps jockey championship; Scudamore looks very well priced at 25/1.