Peter Scudamore was an eight-time Champion Jockey in the United Kingdom, riding 1,678 winners during his time in the saddle, before retiring to play a major role on the training side of things in a successful Grand National-winning yard.
He has since gone on to receive an MBE for his services to the sport, but it is as a jockey that racing fans will remember him with the most fondness, and it was often at the Cheltenham Festival that his talent was showcased on their highest stage.
In total, he rode 13 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, including a pair of Champion Hurdle victories, three RSA Chase wins.
We are going to take a quick look back on these memorable days at Prestbury Park, which also included a Champion Chase success.
Celtic Shot – 1988 Champion Hurdle
As one of the few Champion Hurdle winners to go on and compete successfully over fences, Celtic Shot was a horse of a generation. Peter Scudamore was his jockey for that Champion Hurdle success in 1988, and has always been regarded by him as “a very, very special horse”.
Trained by the famous Fred Winter, who now has a race named after him at the Cheltenham Festival, Celtic Shot was a 7/1 winner of the Champion Hurdle, before going on to be the 5/2 favourite for the Gold Cup in 1991.
As racing fans across the freebets.com Cheltenham Festival network will tell you, being favourite for the Champion Hurdle and the Gold Cup takes some doing, and the betting markets haven’t seen anything of the sort since then.
Pearlyman – Queen Mother Champion Chase 1987
After winning three of his five starts that season, including the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Pearlyman was a horse that dominated the two-mile division over fences.
However, it wasn’t until the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury in February 1987, that Peter Scudamore got given the ride. Coming away from his rivals, the pair scored in impressive fashion in what was described by Timeform as the best two-mile performance of that era.
For the Champion Chase, he faced a field that included the legendary Desert Orchid but was still sent off as the 13/8 market leader. Jumping the last marginally in front, he battled up the hill with Very Promising, but came out on top by a neck, thanks to a gutsy ride from Scudamore.
Miinnehoma – Sun Alliance Chase 1992
Throughout his career in the saddle, Peter Scudamore enjoyed a successful working relationship with Martin Pipe, with the pair dominating the sport in the early 1990’s.
It’s a partnership that still holds strong within the two families as we head into the 2021 Cheltenham Festival with Tom Scuadmore (Peter’s son) being the stable jockey for David Pipe (Martin’s son), and regularly enjoyed winners at the big meeting together.
Back in 1992, the partnership worked a treat with Peter riding Miinnehoma to success in that season’s renewal of the Sun Alliance Chase, which is now referred to as the RSA Chase.
Sent off as the 7/2 favourite for the race, Scuadmore tracked the leaders with his mount for the first circuit before taking up the lead before the third from last. He was challenged up the home straight by Bradbury Star, but thanks to a power packed ride from Scuadmore, he put his staying power to the test to forge ahead by close to length.
The horse later went on to win the Grand National at Aintree in 1994, when ridden by Richard Dunwoody, as well as finished third in the 1995 Gold Cup.
Unfortunately, along with the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Grand National in Liverpool remained a race that Peter Scudamore never won as a jockey. That was until 2016, when he was part of the training team behind One For Arthur, who was a Scottish-trained winner of the Aintree Grand National.