Peter Scudamore could take Mighty Thunder to Wetherby for battle with Cyrname in Charlie Hall Chase

PETER Scudamore is ‘minded’ to step Scottish Grand National hero Mighty Thunder up in grade by lining up in this weekend’s bet365 Charlie Hall Chase.

This was Mighty Thunder winning the 2021 Coral Scottish Grand National under Tom Scudamore.

Wetherby’s feature race of the year has attracted eight entries headed by 2020 victor Cyrname for champion trainer Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden.

Mighty Thunder also holds an entry at Ascot on Saturday – Scudamore, and his partner Lucinda Russell, will discuss options with connections later in the week.

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A year ago Scudamore, the former champion jockey, wasn’t even convinced that the horse would take to steeplechase fences.

This was Mighty Thunder winning the 2021 Coral Scottish Grand National under Tom Scudamore.

Now, after rounding off the 2020-21 season with a stirring win in the Scottish National under Scudamore’s son Tom, the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree next April is the long-term dream.

“He’s in Ascot but we’re minded to go for the Charlie Hall at this stage,” said Scudamore senior. “The idea is to run him in a race like this and not a big handicap with lots of weight.

“If anything, he seems to have improved over the summer. However he doesn’t do a lot at home so he will probably improve for his first run of the season – I think he is better than last year. Subject to ground, we’re very minded to go to Wetherby. The Grand National is the long-term plan – that’s the dream – but we have to get there.

“If he ran well here, the Becher Chase over the National fences would be next.”

The Paul Nicholls-trained Cyrname heads the field for the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby this Saturday.

Scudamore and Russell are no strangers to National glory – they saddled One For Arthur who won a famous victory in 2017 under jockey Derek Fox who has had a good start to the new season.

Dan Skelton enjoyed notable wins for Third Time Lucki and Allmankind over the weekend, and he has been aiming second-season chaser Shan Blue at this race for some time.

“A talented novice, he won the Kauto Star at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Tom George’s Clondaw Castle brings solid handicap form to the table, and was also second at the top level to Clan Des Obeaux at Aintree in April – albeit beaten 26 lengths.

Nicky Henderson’s Fusil Raffles, Phil Kirby’s Top Ville Ben, the Christian Williams-trained Kitty’s Light and Henry Daly’s mare Chilli Filli complete the list.

The bet365 Hurdle, better known as the West Yorkshire Hurdle, has attracted 12 entries – including former Stayers’ Hurdle hero Paisley Park.

As for conditions, clerk of the course Jonjo Sanderson said: “We’re due heavy rain Thursday and into Friday morning, but once that has passed through it looks 
dry.

“They are saying there could be up to 15-20 millimetres in that band, which would be most welcome.

“We’re finishing off a second cycle of irrigation today, so it will have had nigh on an inch of water since Thursday-Friday.

“Tomorrow we’ll take a look and see what that rain looks like – if it’s disappeared or halved or whatever – and we’ll decide whether to water again.”