Nick Scholfield

22nd January 2016

Weather leaves my racing schedule open to change

Today I head to Chepstow for two rides – as long as the course passes an 8am inspection.

They are two nice rides and look to have chances. At First Light, who won on Boxing Day at Fontwell, is in the handicap hurdle and Chief Brody goes in the maiden hurdle.

Tomorrow is a busy day with meetings at Ascot, Haydock and Taunton and all have really good entries.

I think there will be a lot of runners as there has been a bit of a lull in racing with frost and rain taking their toll and trainers will be keen to run their horses. It is not confirmed where I will going yet but I think it will probably be Ascot for a few nice rides for Paul Nicholls.

He has a nice juvenile called Connetable who has some decent French form; Monsieur Gibraltar is in the handicap hurdle and I am sure there is a good handicap in him; and Salubrious is in the handicap chase – he ran well at the course last time and he drops back in trip which should help.

I might possibly be at Taunton where there is some terrific prize money on offer and I know Paul is keen to support them. Melodic Rendezvous is entered in the veteran’s race and he is a real local favourite – although he could head to Haydock for the Champion Hurdle trial.

With all the racing off, last Sunday I decided to go to Black Forest Lodge point-to-point and watched Victoria Pendleton ride. She has improved massively in the last month.

She came down to Paul Nicholls’ yesterday and she certainly did not look out of place there. She has Pacha Du Polder now for the St James’ Place Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and he would be a very good ride.

I have only been pointing once in the last couple of years and it was great to go. I had my first ride there eight years ago, and a lot of the same people there that day are still going racing.

I am really looking forward to Exeter’s Cheltenham Festival preview evening on Friday, February 26, which is after racing when the card features the Devon National.

I am on the panel with Paul Nicholls, Philip Hobbs and David Pipe and hopefully between us we will give a useful insight into the Festival although they know a lot more than I do!

Exeter’s next meeting is Super Sunday which coincides with Valentine’s Day and it is always a really good card. Three years ago Many Clouds, who won the 2015 Crabbies’ Grand National, won at the meeting, and last year Native River won and he’s gone on and done really well. Emerging Talent was second in the same race and he could run at the meeting again as he’s still a novice.Last year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Dodging Bullets had a school this morning and looked in good form. With Un De Sceaux, Sire Du Grugy and Sprinter Sacre all entered in the Champion Chase – what a race it could be if they all get there in one piece.