Scudamore equals season's best
Tom Scudamore equalled his best tally for a National Hunt season as he notched his 85th win of the campaign aboard Vif Argent at Wincanton.
David Pipe's stable jockey recorded his career best last term but is on course to smash that total with two months of the season still to go after Vif Agent's success in the Higos Insurance Services Handicap Chase
Scudamore partnered the David Bridgwater-trained Wyck Hill to big-race success last Saturday and with the likes of
Dynaste, Kings Palace, Red Sherlock, The Liquidator and Un Temps Pour Tout to look forward to at the Cheltenham Festival, the rider will be seeking more headline-grabbing victories.
"That's 85 which equals last season. It's very exciting but there's a lot of hard work to come over the next few weeks," said Scudamore.
"David Pipe is having a good year, David Bridgwater's having a good season, he's equalled his best total already too, and so is my brother, Michael.
"Jockeys are nothing without the horses we ride."
Vif Argent had been very disappointing since moving from France but the application of first-time blinkers worked the oracle on the 9-4 chance.
"The way the race was run suited him and he handled the ground, but he'd been disappointing until today. The blinkers obviously helped, so I hope its a springboard," said Scudmore.
Another jockey with a fine book of rides at the upcoming Festival is Daryl Jacob and he took the opening Higos For All Your Commercial Needs Mares' Novices' Hurdle on the odds-on favourite Fairytale Theatre.
Sent off at odds of 2-9, the Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old followed up a recent Taunton win with the minimum of fuss.
Jacob told Racing UK: "She's done it well and stays well. She's a bit keen and hung to her left a bit and I'm sure she'd be better going the other way around, but the races came up for her going this way.
"I'm sure Paul will look for one left-handed for her now.
"She's small, sweet and very genuine and is still learning her trade. She might jump a small fence in time, too.
"She'll be better on some nice ground so we'll see what targets there are for her in the spring."
Thedeboftheyear (6-1) ran out a game winner of the Higos Motor Deal Handicap Hurdle for trainer Chris Down
and jockey James Davies.
"That was a pleasant surprise, but one thing you can always guarantee with her is that she will give you 100%," said Down.
"I was worried about the ground but coming down the handicap obviously helped."
Keel Haul (11-4) is improving at a rate of knots and won nicely under a confident Denis O'Regan in the Higos Insurance Services Platinum Novices' Handicap Hurdle.
Dorry K was expected to follow up a surprise win last week for Jim Best and give Scudamore a double but she had no answer to Be Bop Boru (3-1) in the Higos For Your Home Insurance Handicap Hurdle, who powered clear under Richard Johnson.