Melodic Rendezvous: Tolworth winner to head for Supreme Novices'PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Scholfield hoping to hit right notes with Melodic
NICK SCHOLFIELD'S emergence into the upper echelons of the weighing room has gathered apace this season, with Melodic Rendezvous the highlight so far, and the jockey hopes there is more to come at the Cheltenham Festival.
Scholfield has already bagged 55 winners so far this campaign, his best so far, and it was Melodic Rendezvous who gave him a maiden Grade 1 success when battling to victory in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown.
Jeremy Scott's seven-year-old is a general 14-1 chance for the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle, and as big as 20-1 for the Neptune, with the former the intended Cheltenham Festival target.
Scholfield said: "Melodic Rendezvous gave me my first Grade One win at Sandown and I am very much looking forward to riding him in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
"He shows me plenty of speed and has won over the course and distance so that is very much the race we will be looking at.
"He is going to run at Exeter on Sunday (February 10) and that will be a stepping stone to Cheltenham. He won't be fully wound up for the race but hopefully it will set him up nicely.
"He has coped with soft and heavy ground well and we wouldn't be worried if it came up like that at the festival, but if the ground is better, that wouldn't be a problem either because we have always thought he wanted nicer ground."
Scholfield has already experienced the buzz of a winner at the festival with Hunt Ball, and is set to take the ride on Keiran Burke's stable star in the Byrne Group Plate. Ambitious plans for the Betfred Gold Cup, fuelled by ebullient owner Anthony Knott, have been shelved, with connections now sticking to the 2m5f trip that bought success at the festival last year.
Scholfield added: "Hopefully, the touch of class he has will count for a lot in a handicap and he carried 12st up the hill last year and the weight wasn't stopping him then.
"I think he is very good at that trip - obviously, he won over the course and distance last year - and let's hope he can defy the weight and bag another win."