With nearly 200 winners registered in the last five seasons and over £2million in prize-money earned, Nick Scholfield is well established at the top table of National Hunt riders.
Nick’s background, as you will discover, is very much linked to horses and traces back to the show rings and appearances at the Horse of the Year Show and the Royal International.
Almost inevitably, this led to a show jumping stint which, as we have discovered in earlier jockey interviews (links to which can be found at the end of this piece) is not that unusual. As the great John Francome has pointed out, such a background helps a rider ‘see a stride’ in the approach to an obstacle.
Big-race winners for Nick include Grade 1 successes on Irving, San Benedeto and Adrien du Pont (all for Paul Nicholls), three Grade 2 wins on Irving, a Grade 2 on Sound Investment (Paul Nicholls), a Grade 3 on San Benedeto and a Listed Race on Desert Queen (Harry Fry).
Other winners that come to mind are a valuable Cheltenham success on Un Beau Roman for Paul Henderson plus the six victories he achieved on Art Mauresque (Paul Nicholls) between March 2015 and October 2016.
Furthermore, Nick was the first jockey to win a race on the champion stayer Paisley Park, which came at Hereford in December 2017, and the first to win a race in Britain on high-class chaser Black Corton. He’s also had a very good spin in the Aintree Grand National, finishing third on Teaforthree for Rebecca Curtis in 2013 .
With owners Derek Coles and Martin Tedham, who is best known in Ireland – aside from owning racehorses – for his hugely successful, multi-million pound pharmaceutical packaging company, Wasdell, which has a base in Dundalk, County Louth, now employing him as retained jockey, the future looks very exciting for Nick.
Once again, I’d like to thank Nick and all of the other jockeys involved for taking the time to answer my questions and I wish him every success in the future.
JOCKEY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS — NICK SCHOLFIELD
NAME: NICK SCHOLFIELD
WHERE ARE YOU FROM? DEVON, ENGLAND
STABLE YOU’RE ATTACHED TO? RETAINED TO OWNERS MARTIN TEDHAM AND DEREK COLES
HOW DID YOU GET INTO RACING? MY FATHER WAS A POINT-TO-POINT JOCKEY.
JOCKEY YOU IDOLISED GROWING UP: JOHN FRANCOME AND AP MCCOY
FAVOURITE RACECOURSE AND WHY? WINCANTON; I’VE ALWAYS BEEN LUCKY THERE AND ALSO IT’S LOCAL TO HOME.
TOUGHEST COURSE TO RIDE: CARTMEL
MOST MEMORABLE WINNER TO DATE: IRVING, FIGHTING FIFTH HURDLE AT NEWCASTLE
TO RIDE FOR PAUL NICHOLLS MUST HAVE BEEN SPECIAL. HOW MUCH OF AN IMPACT DID IT HAVE ON YOUR CAREER: HE GAVE ME EVERYTHING, I WILL ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL. HE WAS THE BEST.
HORSE THAT YOU LOOK FORWARD TO THIS SEASON: TEDHAM WHEN HE GOES OVER FENCES (By Shirocco out of the Listed winner Alegralil, Tedham is lightly race and has won over hurdles, at Wincanton; he is closely related to Colin Tizzard’s five-time chase winner Theatrical Star)
WHAT ONE HORSE WOULD YOU HAVE LIKED TO HAVE RIDDEN THAT YOU NEVER HAVE? HURRICANE FLY
RACE YOU WOULD MOST LIKE TO WIN: CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO OWN THAT YOU DONT HAVE ALREADY?; ANOTHER HOUSE, MORTGAGE FREE
HOBBIES OUTSIDE OF RACING: RUGBY, EXETER CHIEFS.
FOOTBALL TEAM YOU SUPPORT: LIVERPOOL AND YEOVIL