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Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Tom Scudamore v Martin Dwyer on why their code is best

Jumps versus Flat: Tom Scudamore and Martin Dwyer
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Why the jumps is best: Tom Scudamore

I am actually very fond of watching Flat racing – watching any sort of top-class racing is great – but the heroes are the horses and over the jumps you get to see them on a more regular basis for longer.

That is the most obvious thing that separates the jumps for me, and that was the thing that attracted me more to the jumps when I was growing up – though I expect I had a few pointers from my family!

All the horses I grew up with and admired on the Flat, like Nashwan or Sea The Stars later on, you only saw them for a fleeting time whereas horses like Desert Orchid and Istabraq come back year after year after year.

In more recent years it's been the same with Kauto Star, Denman, Big Buck's and even cult heroes like Lough Derg, who I rode 45 times in the course of about ten years!

I appreciate you do get some horses like that on the Flat, like Persian Punch and Further Flight, and I love them too – but they are the exception rather than the rule. Generally, they just don't have that same longevity.

Why the Flat is best: Martin Dwyer

The weather's better for a start but I just think the Flat's got more finesse. It's a bit like talking about football and rugby.

I loved the Grand National when I was a kid and it was a dream come true to ride at the meeting but I was always more interested in the Flat – you reach such speeds on the Flat, especially with the good horses. Most jockeys will start on the Flat and end up going jumping, but I was attracted to the speed of it all and went to a Flat trainer when I was 16.

You dream of winning the Derby, and the big Flat meetings like Royal Ascot are fantastic – the buzz is amazing when you compete at that level, with the speed and the crowds. I suppose you'd have that over jumps as well to a degree but they spend half their time out in the country, don't they?

My heroes when I was growing up were Pat Eddery and Mick Kinane, who were so cool under pressure. You could say jump jockeys are are real horsemen because they have to get over the obstacles but it's all about split-second decision-making on the Flat and it's such a great spectacle.

And they wear too much tweed at jump racing – what's all that about? I tried it once and tweed and Scousers do not mix well, I can tell you.

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