NICK SCHOLFIELD: First winner in Ireland is for a good cause
Thursday's course walk at Exeter with the winners of the Western Morning News competition was thoroughly enjoyable. The ladies who won would have been quite happy to stay in the owners' and trainers' bar but it was such a beautiful day I insisted we walked the course – the whole two miles.
It is very picturesque at this time of year and it was great walking out over to the far side which is a part of the course, not many racegoers have seen.
Limerick Racecourse put on a super charity raceday on Monday to raise money to support the rehabilitation efforts of JT McNamara and Jonjo Bright after their life-changing injuries.
It was so well organised and hats off to the organisers. We flew from Birmingham airport and after a plane delay, designated driver Jason Maguire scared us senseless in his attempt to get there on time. The Irish are brilliant and everyone and his wife turned out to support the day. It was one of those days I will never forget.
Fantastic offer at Swanson Ford, Newton Abbot. 3 Years FREE Servicing and 5 Years Warranty available on your BRAND NEW FORD FIESTA with the AWARD WINNING ECOBOOST ENGINE!!!
Terms: Limited stock available. Only whilst stock lasts
Contact: 01626 240583
Valid until: Tuesday, December 24 2013
I was lucky enough to ride a winner – my first in Ireland – for a horse owned by JP McManus. I've won for him before, but I've never actually met him and he's a real gentleman. We donated all our winnings and riding fees to the charity and AP McCoy ended up giving extra to retrieve his boxer shorts which someone had taken from the changing room.
We flew back and I stayed with a friend in Cheltenham and rode out the next morning for Kim Bailey. He has a super set-up, although I think they must be quite superstitious there as they no longer display current pictures of horses in training in the owners' room as they say it jinxes them. The walls are now reserved for proven and retired horses.
Racing is getting very busy now. I have three rides at Wincanton today for Jeremy Scott. On Friday I'll be at Cheltenham where I will be riding On The Bridge in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle to get him qualified for the final at the Cheltenham Festival in March before he has a break.
Kit James owns him and he is a local legend in the Westcountry. He is great fun to ride for and he has had a lot of luck too. On The Bridge has won seven times now and whatever he does in the future he owes us nothing.
There have been one or two nice horses running and one I was particularly impressed with was Balder Success who won the BetVictor Robert Mottram Memorial Trophy Novices' Chase. He has a natural ability over a fence and I think he will win plenty of races in the future.
I am looking forward to seeing The New One and Rock On Ruby take each other on at Kempton on Sunday in the Listed Race. I'm on Quaddick Lake in the same race and I'm very much looking forward to riding in it.
Tuesday's meeting at Exeter Racecourse is always a very good one and I am hopeful I will have some rides there. It is the final chance to win a share in the newly-named Snappy Poet – the prize on offer for everyone who pre-books a ticket to go. He really is a seriously nice horse and with a name like that is sure to end up being famous for one reason or another.
Exeter's next meeting is Best Mate Novice Chase Day on Tuesday, October 22. Everyone who pre-books to attend will be entered into a draw to win a share in the racehorse Snappy Poet trained by Jeremy Scott. The winner will be drawn after the third race. First race: 2.10pm. Children aged 17 and under race free. Tickets cost from £13 (if booked in advance). A free bus leaves Exeter St David's at 12.30pm and the Bus & Coach Station 12.45pm, returning half an hour after the last race. Ticket Hotline: 08445 793005. Restaurant and Corporate Events: 01392 832599. Book online: www.exeter-racecourse.co.uk