FORMER Grand National-winning jockey Michael Scudamore, has died at the age of 81. Scudamore was the father of former champion rider Peter, and grandad of current top jockey Tom and trainer Michael.
Scudamore won the 1959 Grand National in 1959 on Oxo, and also the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in 1957 on Linwell. His success in the saddle encouraged eight-time champion Peter – who now trains a string of National Hunt horses alongside his partner Lucinda Russell at Arlary House near Milnathort – to follow in his father’s footsteps. Paying tribute to his father, Peter told the Racing Post last night: “He was a hero to us. They were tough men in those days, he rode in a 40-runner novice chase round Hereford, and said when he had a fall his helmet hit the floor before he did as there were no straps in those days.
“They were just a different generation of toughness and without him and the other people of his era, National Hunt racing wouldn’t be held in the regard that it is today and I’d never want to forget the legacy they left us.
“People come up to me and say I’ve watched many jockeys and he was the best one I’ve ever seen over a fence which makes you immensely proud. He was the toughest man I’ve ever met.”
On a sad day for racing, Saeed bin Suroor led the tributes to Lammtarra, the unbeaten winner of the Derby, King George and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1995 who died at the age of 22, as he described the Classic hero as a horse who will be “remembered forever”.
Trained by the late Alex Scott as a two-year-old, he won the Blue Riband at Epsom in the care of Bin Suroor after Scott was tragically murdered in September 1994, a month after the son of Nijinsky had won the Washington Singer at Newbury.
He raced in the name of Sheikh Mohammed’s nephew Saeed Maktoum Al Maktoum as a juvenile before being part of Godolphin in his Classic season, which saw him add the two all-aged middle-distance championships of Europe to his Epsom laurels.
Bin Suroor said: “It is very sad. He is one of the best horses I have trained. He won the Epsom Derby, the King George and the Arc. Very few horses have managed to win those three races.”
Darley said the chestnut was put to sleep at Dalham Hall Stud following a short illness. Lammtarra was ridden by Walter Swinburn at Epsom, and still had lots of ground to make up at the three-furlong pole before cutting down the field to win by a length from Tamure and Frankie Dettori in a course-record time.
Dettori was to take over in the King George at Ascot, where the pair accounted for Pentire by a neck. It was then to Paris and Longchamp for the Arc, where a dream season was completed with a three-quarter-length triumph from Freedom Cry. From just four starts, Lammtarra earned over £1.25million in winning prize money.