12th December 2014

Nick Scholfield Blog – Big weekend

There’s a big weekend ahead with meetings at Huntingdon, Haydock and Ascot. Melodic Rendezvous runs in the Betfair Price Rush Hurdle at Haydock tomorrow where he’ll be taking on The New One with Sam Twiston-Davies on board.

There is a lot of rain forecast and it is his first run of the year but everything is in his favour and hopefully he’ll run well. However, for the first time I will not be able to ride him as I will be at Ascot where I have six rides. I would love to be in two places at once but I can’t on this occasion which is disappointing. I’ll be riding some nice horses but I’ll be keeping an eye on Melodic and cheering him on.

As far as my rides are concerned the stand out two are Lac Fontana who runs in the grade two Coral Hurdle. He won the County Hurdle at The Cheltenham Festival and he’s won a grade one novices’ hurdle at the Aintree Festival and any horse that can do that is a very good one.

He will be taking on the Neptune Investments Management Novices’ Hurdle winner Faugheen who is unbeaten in his seven starts under Rules. He has a huge reputation and is sure to draw the crowds on Saturday. Willie Mullins has so many good horses, the hardest thing for him is to keep them apart and its great that he’s bringing some of them over to England to contest our races. He won it last year with Annie Power. I’m over the moon to be on Lac Fontana. On ratings we have a bit to find with Faugheen but he is very progressive.

In the Amlin Chase I’m on Bury Parade who is the outside in the betting. He has no end of ability and he’s been an impressive winner at Ascot before. Paul has trained him with this race in mind but he has Wishfull Thinking to beat who won the Old Roan Chase so impressively.

In the opening 2m6f novices’ hurdle I’ll either ride Fletchers Fly for Harry Fry or Ballycoe for Paul and I’ll be on Polisky in the handicap chase.

Ascot is a grade one track and you need a good jumper there. There are five fences down the back and if your horse doesn’t jump  well you very rarely win. The fences are not so much big but a little trappy. It’s a proper track and I love riding there.

I was really pleased for Sam Twiston-Davies at Cheltenham on Saturday where he rode two winners for Paul. Sam stayed down on Wednesday night and it’s always good having him around. There’s a lot of banter between us and its very amusing.

Cheltenham was also a wonderful meeting for Philip Hobbs who trained six winners over the three days. It’s great credit to him to do that. He’s a brilliant trainer.

The next meeting in December is on the new course which will be better as its fresh ground that hasn’t been watered.

I’ll be at Exeter on Sunday where my main chance is Big Al in Clydesdales race! Sam’s booked as are James Best, Alice Mills, last year’s winner Micheal Nolan and a few others. It’s sure to be a real spectacle again.

It will be good to see Tony McCoy back next week. He’s as hard as nails and for him to have a week off he must have been pretty bad. He’s so determined, ambitious and hungry for winners. The down side of having him back is he’ll be riding all the winners again!