Nick Scholfield

07th April 2017

Confidence-giving double ahead of Aintree

After riding a double at Taunton yesterday for Paul Nicholls on Garo De Juilley and Black Corton at Taunton today I head to Aintree where I’m on Victor Dartnall’s Run To Milan in the bumper. He lacks a bit of experience having just had one run when he won at Wincanton on Boxing Day but I am looking forward to riding him.

Aintree is a meeting I really enjoy. The atmosphere is phenomenal and I can’t wait. It’s nice to have a couple of winners under my belt to give me a bit of confidence.

The Grand National is the race everyone watches and everyone wants to win and it was great watching the Foxhunters yesterday.

On Wednesday I watched the Grand National replays on Racing UK and it brought back some memories on Tea For Three who finished third. We jumped the last in front and he gave me a brilliant spin. We had a lot of luck that year.

I am still not sure if I ride in the race yet but I am on San Benedeto in the Grade One Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase for Paul tomorrow. He’s won his last three so his confidence is on a high. I shouldn’t think he will be too far away.

I’ve had a good look at the runners but I think I will struggle to tip a winner. It is very open and very competitive. Every horse that’s running possibly has a chance this year with such a quality field. I could pick five and I probably still wouldn’t pick the winner. There are horses that have run well before – will they do it again? There are other horses that have never run over the fences. There are a few I’d quite like to ride that have jumped well there in the past.

It’s been a busy week with lots of rides although the focus has very much been on the Grand National.

The Nick Williams-trained Tea For Two put up a very good performance to win the under Lizzie Kelly to win the Grade One Betway Bowl Chase. Having fallen at the second in the Gold Cup, he went there a fresh horse and it was a very good performance. Buveur D’Air added to his Champion Hurdle win by taking the Betway Aintree Hurdle and is now the best two mile and two and half mile hurdle in training. His trainer Nicky Henderson extended his lead in the trainers’ championship and has Mighty Bite today, although he only saddles one in the Grand National whereas Paul has four or five runners.

Silviniaco Conti has been retired with seven Grade One wins under his belt and he’s sure to enjoy many happy years ahead of him.

It’s back to normality with Ffos Las on Monday and Exeter on Tuesday where there are plenty of entries. It coincides with family day, which is always a really great day out, and a chance for children to meet jockeys and get their autographs.