Posts

Nick Scholfield closing in on weekend return

Nick Scholfield is on target to return to action this weekend following a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a broken leg.

The multiple Grade One-winning jockey suffered the injury when he was cannoned into by a loose horse as he crossed the finishing line in fourth on Shintori in a handicap chase at Fontwell in November.

After nearly three months out, he is itching to get back in the saddle – particularly given the way Sky Pirate has progressed in his absence for his retained owner Martin Tedham.

“I’m fit and well now and I’m keen to get back on track,” said Scholfield.

“I’d imagine it will be this weekend with a bit of luck. Dr Jerry Hill has given me the green light, so hopefully the weather doesn’t play a part and I can get back going.

“It’s been tough – if you ask my girlfriend I’ve probably been a nightmare – but I’ve had a lot of support and a solid week of riding out at different places.”

Sky Pirate is making rapid and progress and is one to look forward to for Nick Scholfield
Sky Pirate is making rapid and progress and is one to look forward to for Nick Scholfield (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

In his absence, the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Sky Pirate has won handicaps at Cheltenham and Warwick, progressing from a mark of 134 to 152 – meaning his Cheltenham Festival target has likely been adjusted.

“I’m not sure the Grand Annual is the main aim now as he’s up to a mark of 152,” Scholfield told Betfred.

“He’s entered in the Arkle and he’s quite well handicapped over hurdles, so the County is a possibility as well.

“I’d say the Arkle could be his aim. Obviously we’d meet Shishkin who is rated clear of him, but what Sky Pirate has is good handicap form, he’s a really solid jumper and you only get one crack at it as a novice.

“The Grand Annual is still on the table, but off that mark now, he might have left that race behind at Warwick.”

Scholfield suffers broken leg in freak Fontwell fall

Nick Scholfield is hoping he may yet be able to return in time for the busy Christmas schedule after breaking his leg in a freak incident at Fontwell.

The multiple Grade One-winning jockey suffered the injury on Friday when he was cannoned into by a loose horse as he crossed the finishing line in fourth on Shintori in the Star Sports Owner’s Club £20K Guarantee Handicap Chase.

He was due to ride Champagne Court in the feature Badger Beers Silver Trophy Handicap Chase at Wincanton on Saturday – but will be out of action for several weeks at least.

“I’ve fractured my tibia,” said Scholfield.

“I hope I can get back as quickly as possible – if I could do it in six weeks, that would be what I’m hoping.”

Go Steady had unseated his jockey Bridget Andrews at the third-last, but then ran loose before careering into Scholfield.

He admits his frustration at the injury, just as the new National Hunt season begins to step up a gear, but acknowledges many others are encountering far more trying times during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“In these times, this is not so bad,” he added.

“It was unusual circumstances – something you don’t expect  – so it’s frustrating from that aspect.

“I’d crossed the line and finished the race on Shintori.

“I was just pulling up, and a horse that had fallen was galloping (loose) and it has just ‘T-boned’ my horse, and my leg was stuck in the middle, and it caused me to fall off.”