29th March 2018

Nick Scholfield’s Latest Blog

It was great to land a gamble for Ron Hodges at Wincanton on Wednesday on the lovely mare Daytime Ahead. She’s such a cool horse and I’ve won three on her now. It can be hard on this type of ground but when a mare likes those tough conditions it’s a positive. She won by 12 lengths, and distances can be exaggerated in heavy ground so fingers crossed the handicapper takes that into account. It’s nice for Ron Hodges who has had a lot of good horses over the years. He trains locally to Wincanton at Somerton so there was lots of local support.

I’d say it has been one of my best seasons. It just seems to get better and better with lots of winners for different trainers. Smart Boy winning at Taunton earlier in the week was a really good training performance by Jack Barber and a great result for the horse as he’s been so consistent and has gone up 20lbs since he first won at Plumpton in October. He never seems to run a bad race.

De Rasher Counter ran a super race at Newbury in the Be Wiser Insurance Novices’ Hurdle where he lost nothing in defeat. He’s a smart chasing prospect for next season. Emma Lavelle is having a great season with more to come.

It was also a good training performance from Jeremy Scott winning two in nine days with Garrane who followed up his Taunton win with success at Chepstow. That’s never easy especially when the ground is soft as it can take more out of them than you think. At this time of year you’d expect the ground to be drying out to the give the good ground horses a chance but it’s been soft and heavy virtually all season and the relentless rain has but paid to Newton Abbot’s Easter meeting, which is such a shame. I’m looking forward to when the track gets its season going, as it’s a great place to ride.

I’ve been asked to ride a couple of horses in the Randox Health Grand National, which is fantastic. I haven’t committed to anything yet and will make a decision closer to the time. Its hugely competitive and I love it. The quality is outstanding and it will take some winning. Blaklion has a huge chance and Regal Encore has a big chance too. That would be great for Anthony and Rachael Honeyball who are really going places as trainers.

We have a day off today, so last night we had a big night out in Cheltenham to celebrate Liam Treadwell, James Banks and Ryan Hatch retiring from race riding.

Then tomorrow, I think I will be at Haydock to ride Native Robin for Jeremy. He’s been really good horse for the yard. It’s a valuable, but he seems to have improved all season and he goes with a chance.

There have been two bits of sad news with Pat Smullen on the sidelines for the foreseeable future having been diagnosed with a brain tumor. He’s a phenomenal, world-class jockey and my thoughts go to his family.

It was also sad that Mike Tucker has died – he was the voice of eventing and equestrianism. I had lunch with him last summer and he was a very nice man. He’ll be sorely missed.