Jockey Tom Scudamore has high hopes Cloth Cap can deliver a fitting tribute to Trevor Hemmings by securing an emotional victory in Saturday’s Grand National
- Tom Scudamore aims for a poignant win on Cloth Cap at Aintree on Saturday
- The 11-2 favourite carries the colours of Trevor Hemmings, who died in October
- The Grand National was Hemmings’ favourite race and he won it three times
Jockey Tom Scudamore is hoping the forecast for heavy rain at Aintree later this week proves incorrect as he aims for a poignant win on Cloth Cap in Saturday’s Randox Grand National.
The Jonjo O’Neill-trained 10-year-old, the 11-2 favourite for the £1million race last year only to be pulled up after the fourth last with a breathing problem, carries the colours of Trevor Hemmings, who died in October aged 86.
The Grand National was Hemmings’ favourite race and he won it three times with Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015), making him the joint most successful owner.
Tom Scudamore is aiming for a poignant win on Cloth Cap in Saturday’s Grand National
Scudamore said: ‘It would be very fitting if Cloth Cap could carry Trevor’s colours to more success. He was always very straightforward to ride for and treated victory and defeat the same.
‘I was really happy how Cloth Cap had taken to the fences last year. He was travelling nicely but then had a problem and couldn’t recover. He had an operation for his breathing and I was happy with his last run when third at Doncaster on ground he wouldn’t have liked.
‘Jonjo took him to Lambourn last week and we jumped a couple of National fences and he felt in real good order. There is nothing he has done that I could be negative about and he is running off the same handicap mark as last year.’
As well as Cloth Cap, Hemmings’ familiar green and white quartered colours are scheduled to be carried by Deise Aba as the racing legacy of the man who owned Preston North End lives on. Bloodstock agent David Minton, who bought horses for Hemmings and advised him for 30 years, said: ‘We always had to find horses who were potential National runners.
The 11-2 favourite carries the colours of Trevor Hemmings, who died in October aged 86
‘We had people coming to us all the time saying this will be an ideal National horse because they knew Trevor would be interested. He loved Cheltenham but the National always came first.’
Horses running in the Hemmings colours have had a great season. Cloudy Glen won the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury while a clutch of promising younger horses have emerged, including Harbour Lake, Richmond Lake and Hillcrest, who retains huge potential despite a disappointing run at Cheltenham.
Minton added: ‘I don’t think we will be buying anything from now on but there are still plenty of three and four-year-olds to come along. We have a lot of good horses this year who have turned out to be good and Trevor is fourth in the owners’ championship.’
Going on the Grand National course is currently good to soft (good in places) but heavy rain is forecast on Friday.
With champion trainer Paul Nicholls not having a runner in the National after an injury to Highland Hunter, his stable jockey Harry Cobden has been booked to ride Colin Tizzard’s Lostintranslation.