Nick Scholfield

30th December 2016

A week of racing to relish

It’s been a fantastic week of racing with the quality superb in both England and Ireland. It’s hard to keep track of it all, but there have been some outstanding performances and racing fans have been treated.

I’ve had a few wins, a double at Fontwell on Boxing Day and I won a good race yesterday on Olivers Hill at Leicester for Lawney Hill. Today I have two rides at Taunton and it looks busy for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

I watched the 32Red King George VI while I was at Fontwell and Thistlecrack and Cue Card locking horns down the back straight is what racing is all about. It was superb. Hats off to Thistlecrack managing to win against older horses, it was a hugely impressive performance. I don’t think Cue Card ran to his true form and I think he needs more cut in the ground to show his best, but it doesn’t take anything away from Thistlecrack who won comfortably in the end. All he seems to be doing is impressing at the moment.

I thought going into the 32Red Christmas Hurdle that The New One would win but Yanworth came out on top. Whether his performance is quite on a par with Annie Power and Faugheen will become evident at the Festival, but he certainly has the best form of the English horses.

Willie Mullins is really pulling out his trump cards now and is warming up as we approach the Festival while Petit Mouchoir, trained by Henry De Bromhead, looked outstanding in yesterday’s Ryaniar Hurdle bringing him into Champion Hurdle reckoning.

Dicky Johnson had a fantastic ay at Chepstow on Tuesday wining the Coral Future Champions Juvenile Hurdle on Philip Hobb’s really good horse Defi Du Seuil and then the Coral Welsh National on Native River to provide another massive win for Colin Tizzard who can do no wrong at the moment. Native River has to be a Gold Cup horse on what he has done. Synchronised won the Welsh National and went on to win the Gold Cup and it wouldn’t be the strangest results in the world. Tizzard has three great horses Cue Card, Thistlecrack, and Native River and although it is still three months off I’d imagine he is very happy with the card he has been dealt at the moment heading towards the Festival.

Tomorrow we have Newbury, Uttoxeter and Warwick and on Sunday there are four meetings including Cheltenham and Exeter which is shaping up to be a very competitive card on Sunday.

Andrew Thornton is in great form after riding 1000 winners at Wincanton on Boxing Day. Everyone is so happy for him and it was fantastic to see. I can’t express enough how big an achievement this is. It’s an elite band of jockeys who have done it and its no easy task. When you are actually riding, you appreciate how hard it really is to ride winners. He’s picked up a knee injury that might require surgery but he’s in really great spirits.

We have a new addition to our household with Roscoe the whippet joining the fold. I bought him as a Christmas present for my girlfriend Amy and she was so pleased I am worried how I will ever top it in future years!

Happy New Year to everyone and healthy and prosperous 2017!