Grand National 2017: Scudamore hopes brother can end family drought at Aintree

Vieu Lion Rouge ridden by Tom Scudamore
Vieux Lion Rouge ridden by Tom Scudamore jumps at Haydock in November, 2015
Randox Health Grand National
Venue: Aintree Date: Saturday, 8 April Race: 17:15 BST
Coverage: Build-up and live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live from 13:00, with text updates and pinstickers' guide on the BBC Sport website and app.

They have one of the most famous family names in British horse racing, but it has been almost 60 years since a Scudamore won the Grand National.

Michael Scudamore triumphed in 1959 on Oxo, but his son and eight-time champion jockey Peter never won the big one at Aintree, his best finish a third aboard Corbiere in 1985.

Now Welsh trainer Michael Scudamore, following in the footsteps of his famous family - including his namesake and grandfather - says it would mean everything if his brother Tom could take the crown this weekend.

Tom will be in the saddle on one of the favourites, Vieux Lion Rouge, and after finishing seventh last year, his brother hopes to win the big one this time around over the world's most famous course.

Michael Scudamore
Trainer Michael Scudamore

'It would be lovely'

One might assume that for a family closing in on 2,000 racing victories, success in the National would be nothing more than a bonus.

But Michael, who took over his grandfather's training yard in 2008 after gaining his licence following a season as an amateur jockey, says it would mean the world if Tom triumphs.

"Careers are built on having success in this race. There's obviously a lot of pressure involved especially going into the big race." Scudamore told BBC Wales Sport.

"It's been a very long time since any member of our family managed to win it. It would be lovely if he could do that at the weekend."

Grandfather Michael is 'inspiration'

Scudamore's grandfather Michael Scudamore rode 16 consecutive Grand Nationals, winning in 1959.

Peter Scudamore, Michael's father was also an eight-time champion jockey who rode to a record 1,678 wins.

Scudamore says his grandfather was a big inspiration.

"It was always his favourite race and that passed down through the rest of the family," he explained.

"He rode in 16 consecutive Nationals which for a long time, until Mr McCoy [Sir Anthony McCoy] or Richard Johnson came along, I think they were the first to break that record.

"It's the race you really want to win above all others and hopefully one day one of our family can emulate what my grandfather did and pass that post first."

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Michael Scudamore scores a try for Wales U19s

Racing or rugby?

While the rest of the Scudamore family were arguably born into the sport of racing, things could have been very different for Michael.

He is a former Wales Under-19 rugby international who featured in the 2003 Five Nations tournament and an age-grade World Cup, playing in the same squad as Wales, Bristol and British and Irish Lions lock Ian Evans.

He was also a regular for Ebbw Vale as part of the Newport Gwent Dragons set-up and Scudamore very nearly picked a lifetime of scrums and rucks over fences and saddles.

Scudamore draws comparisons between his life on the rugby pitch and training the country's best horses.

"There aren't any many hours spent running around or in the gym, but you're treating the horse as an athlete and trying to get the best out of them in a similar way that you were trying to get the best out of yourself," he said.

"Everything is geared towards trying to make them the very best they can be. In many ways it's a very similar discipline.

"I started off trying to play a bit of rugby, but I've always been around horses from a young age so racing's there and always something I'd wanted to do at some stage.

"I was always too heavy to ride so training was the next logical step.

"I was never the biggest [as a rugby player] so seeing the size of the players nowadays I'm happy I chose what I chose.

"I definitely have no regrets!"

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