Jockey Tom Scudamore itching to ride red-hot Grand National favourite Cloth Cap at Aintree

TOM Scudamore is head over heels for his Grand National ride Cloth Cap.

The top jockey is unbeaten on the progressive nine-year-old, who is the hot favourite for next month’s Aintree marathon.

The Jonjo O’Neill-trained chaser was a runaway winner of the Ladbrokes Trophy in November and warmed up for the National with an easy win at Kelso.

He has been allotted just 10st 5lbs for the April 10 race – but since the weights were released he has gone up a further stone in the ratings.

Cloth Cap is comfortably the best-handicapped horse in the world-famous steeplechase, and Scudamore is hoping he can use that to his advantage.

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Scudamore said: “It’s a lovely position to be in going into a race off 10st 5lbs and knowing if the handicapper could have his say again you’d be running off a stone higher.

“He is around a 4-1 favourite, but I think in any other race outside the Grand National he would be shorter.

“It has been a thrill to ride him this season and the National has always looked like the perfect race for him.

“He ran very well in the Scottish National as a novice and he has plenty of nice stayers in his family.

“He was brilliant in the Ladbrokes Trophy and again at Kelso in his prep race last month.

“He has gone from strength-to-strength this year. His jumping is a great asset and you’d just be hoping for decent ground come the day.”

Scudamore added: “I have been thinking about it an awful lot. It’s certainly in the forefront of my mind and you are aware it’s round the corner.

“I’ve been around for a while now so I know it's best not to look too far ahead – but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it and wasn’t excited.”

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