Tom Scudamore: Dynamic Dynaste will be the one to beat
It has been a frustrating couple of weeks, with the weather, another ban, and Saturday at Cheltenham not working out to plan.
I wish I knew what was going on with Grands Crus. He is just not firing at the moment, so plans for him are on hold until we find out the root of the problem. It is just so frustrating when you have such a good horse on your hands. Hopefully, something will come to light and then we can fix it.
I had a winner at Newbury the other day, and got one for the whip, so I've had two weeks sat on my backside and I'm in a grump to say the least. Mind you, weather wise, we've had a good run of it up until last week, so we shouldn't really complain and I've been looking for a new car – if anyone would like to sponsor me, do shout!
The Grand National entries are out and, of David Pipe's entries, the horse I'd be most likely to ride is Problematic, although I'm far more likely to be on Wyck Hill for David Bridgwater.
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His form is looking good. We were getting a 1lb from Katenko when we beat him quite comfortably at Ascot in December, and he has since gone on and won the Murphy Group Handicap Chase at Cheltenham easily. He'll go for the Racing Plus Chase now.
The entries are out for the novice chases at the Festival. We have Goulanes in the RSA Chase and he's a very good horse and could be the dark horse of the race. He will either run at Ffos Las on Saturday or Ayr on Monday and is a very exciting horse. He is more of a stayer than a speed horse and has done nothing but impress me all season.
All the races at the Festival are tough. They are different types of races than winning a six-runner novice chase, because every runner will be competitive. You look at Puffin Billy. He has beaten everything in five or six-runner races, but it will be far tougher when he gets to the Festival.
To me, Dynaste is the one who stands out. He is the top-staying novice chaser in the country and has done absolutely nothing wrong all season. The other top novice chasers are Simonsig and Overturn, but Dynaste has been running well at the trip and, whichever race he runs in, he will be hard to beat.
The two horses I like in the Jewson are Arvika Ligeonniere and Aupcharlie, although the former has a tendency to jump right and will probably go for the Arkle. You also have to respect Boston Bob and Back In Focus.
Dynsate has beaten very good horses by a long way who have since gone on and won themselves, and that is what gives me confidence.
With a lot of races abandoned, I'm really looking forward to Exeter a week on Sunday. It is always a very strong card, and, when Spirit Son won there two years ago, that was a real treat for racegoers. He came second in a vintage Supreme Novices Hurdle race won by Al Ferof, with Sprinter Sacre third and Cue Card fourth. Sadly he won't run again, but he'll have a wonderful retirement.
Exeter's annual two for £10 race day (pre-booked tickets only, call 0844 5793005) is on Sunday, February 10. A free Wedding Fayre takes place on February 17, with up to 70% off at a designer dress sale, and its Cheltenham Preview Evening, with Paul Nicholls, David Pipe, Philip Hobbs, Andrew King, Paddy Power and Tanya Stevenson, is on February 21. Tickets are £20 each, including a meal, and are bookable at the racecourse office.