TOP JOCKEY NICK SCHOLFIELD WRITES FOR WMN SPORT
Keep faith in Melodic Rendezvous, following his disappointing run at Newcastle on Saturday. I know the feel he gave me was not his true running and I know he is good enough for top-class company.
Every horse is entitled to one bad run in their career and that was his, and there could be several reasons. The ground was plenty quick enough for him and I just felt he did not sparkle. Jeremy Scott found after the race he was a bit stiff in his shoulder which may also add to the reason he did not jump very well.
We beat Cotton Mill in the Elite Hurdle Wincanton by ten lengths or more going away and he beat us at Newcastle. That clearly shows that Melodic has not run to the same level of form, so you have to put a line through it.
It is a shame for the horse and his owners, but he is still in one piece and at least we know he is better than that.
I just do not think you can judge him on that run and I know deep down he is a much better horse. If he had felt right and still finished down the field I would be very disappointed.
My Tent Or Yours is a very classy horse and was very impressive. I spoke to AP McCoy after the race and he said he was none the wiser as to whether he is a Champion Hurdle contender because it is a flat track at Newcastle and it suited him perfectly.
The hill at Cheltenham caught him out last year when he finished behind Champagne Fever in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and it could just find him out again. The ground will play a large part in interpreting the result as it is such a competitive race. You only have to look at Rock On Ruby, a previous Champion Hurdle winner, who is now 20-1 – that is how competitive it is.
Jeremy, who does a lot of the box driving, travelled from one end of the country to another and on Monday was at Plumpton where he scored a double.
Porters War is one of the yard favourites. He is 11 years old and a really genuine horse and it was nice that he got his head in front. Boogie In The Barn is a really nice young horse and is sure to be a good hurdler. I did not have to do much on him – just steer.
I am pretty sure I am at Exeter tomorrow where there is a brilliant card in prospect. Oscar Whiskey is an entry in the Harry Dutfield Memorial Novices' Chase. He is a former champion two-and-a-half miler and you can run a line through his last run at Cheltenham as it was a falsely-run race and he was only beaten a neck.
Exeter's six-race card kicks off at 12.25pm tomorrow and a free bus leaves Exeter St David's at 12.40pm and the Bus and Coach Station at 12.55pm, returning half an hour after the last race. Racing on December 19 begins at 12.50pm and the free bus leaves Exeter St David's at 11.10am and the Bus and Coach Station at 11.25am, returning half an hour after the last race. Racegoers can get 25 per cent off the price of Granstand and Paddock tickets at Exeter's traditional New Year's Day meeting if booked by Christmas Eve. Simply call the ticket hotline 08445 793005 or book at www.exeter-racecourse.co.uk and quote NYD2014.