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Cheltenham Festival 2021: Next generation of Scudamores make their mark with help from the Prime Minister

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His own sons have carried on that mantle: Michael a successful trainer and Tom still in the saddle at the age of 38. But now 14-year-old granddaughter Margot has made her first headline-grabbing foray into the equine world with the support of the Prime Minister.

When schools went back, her first concern was that she would be unable to watch her dad’s rides at Cheltenham Festival so she wrote a letter to Boris Johnson in her school book, which her father found and tweeted.

Hexham MP Guy Opperman got involved, and the PM reportedly called her school, Chulmleigh Community College, in order to grant viewing privileges for the week.

Grandfather Peter said: “We’ve had so many bad news stories so it’s nice to get a good one. She’s besotted by her horses, she rides all the time, and she wants to be a jockey. And it was difficult with her father riding and not being able to watch. It’s terrific really.”

On the family Whatsapp group, the expectation has risen a little for Tom with Margot and the rest of the family’s eyes on his rides, arguably his best bet on Adagio in Friday’s Triumph Hurdle.

Scudamore Sr boasts 13 Festival winners to his son’s current 10, but he almost used to approach the week with a sense of dread before he eventually broke his own win duck there.

“I went a long time without riding a winner there and it’s a funny mindset, that of not riding a winner,” he said. “Your subconscious is telling you it’s not your fault.

“I remember the year I first won. On the Wednesday I had a horse I couldn’t see getting beaten but then six of us fell at the ditch at the top of the hill. I remember thinking ‘ok, fair enough, I’m making a good living, doing ok, I’ll just not ride a winner at Cheltenham’.

/ Lucinda Russell

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