Rising star Nick Schofield handed chance to shine on Dulcote

By Sportsmail Reporter

Nick Scholfield will have the most high-profile mount of his fledgling career on Sunday when he rides Pride Of Dulcote in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown.  

Scholfield has been handed the job by Paul Nicholls in one of the most prestigious races staged in Ireland all season. 

Nicholls won the race with Neptune Collonges two years ago but with Ruby Walsh still on the sidelines, the champion trainer has rewarded the youngster for some consistent displays in his absence.  

Confidence: Paul Nicholls placing his faith in young Nick Schofield

Confidence: Paul Nicholls placing his faith in young Nick Schofield

Pride Of Dulcote was a classy novice hurdler, only losing out to Weapon's Amnesty in the Albert Bartlett of 2009 at Cheltenham, but his novice chase season was cut short after he made a winning debut.  

He beat Nicky Henderson's Punchestowns at Newbury on his only start so far this term.  

'He worked this morning and went very well. He's in very good form,' said Nicholls. 

'He's had a nice bit of time between his races as he didn't run at all last season so we'll get Sunday out of the way and see where we are with him. 

'Nick Scholfield will ride him.' 

Nicky Richards' Money Trix was disappointing in the race 12 months ago but has finished second in the last two renewals of the Lexus Chase on his two other visits to the track.  

'He came out of the Lexus well and the weather has been a bit kinder to us. We haven't really missed a day with him, everything has gone to plan,' said the Greystoke handler.

'I think he'll run a very good race, I hope they get a little bit of rain. 

'There's not a lot between him and Joncol and you'd always be a little bit worried about whatever Mr Nicholls runs (Pride Of Dulcote), but I think he's got a very good chance.

'We were disappointed last year but when we got him home he had a small fracture around his joint so we can forgive him one bad run.  #

Big test: Schofield (left) has caught the eye this season

Big test: Schofield (left) has caught the eye this season

'They are all very good horses and we respect them all, but I would hope it concerns the first three in the betting and I hope it goes well for my horse and hopefully we won't be far away.  

'He's probably improved a bit since the Lexus as that was his first run.  

'After this, it all depends on the ground and how he comes out of the race. Everybody knows he's not the easiest to train and he's very ground dependent.  

'To run in the Gold Cup, he would need it very wet but it doesn't do that very often.  

'We'll put him in the Irish National and we may put him in the Midlands National, too.'

Nick Mitchell's The Listener is another who will travel over for the race.  

The home team is headed by last year's winner Joncol while Willie Mullins' Cooldine is on something of a retrieval mission with stablemate Kempes also a possible.

China Rock, Vic Venturi, Trafford Lad, Made In Taipan and Let Yourself Go complete the 11 remaining entries.  

Hennessy Gold Cup - Paddy Power bet: 7-4 Pride Of Dulcote, 5-2 Joncol, 6-1 Cooldine, 7-1 Money Trix, 10-1 Kempes, 12-1 China Rock, The Listener, 33-1 Let Yourself Go, 40-1 Vic Venturi, 50-1 Made In Taipan, Trafford Lad..