Seven-times champion jumps jockey John Francome stands by his belief that Victoria Pendleton is an "accident waiting to happen" on a racecourse.

Francome told the Guardian last month that the double Olympic champion cyclist "can't ride" and wants "saving from herself" after she was unseated from Pacha Du Polder on her first start over regulation fences at Fakenham.

Pendleton, 35, went some way to silencing the naysayers at Wincanton on Wednesday when she made all of the running aboard the same horse to claim a first victory as a jockey.

Her maiden success sharply brought back into focus the possibility of riding the Paul Nicholls-trained Pacha Du Polder in the St James's Place Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on 18 March.

But when asked if he felt Pendleton was still an accident waiting to happen in the saddle, Francome said: "Absolutely, yes.

"Every time she gets round in one piece, I'm absolutely delighted, but I'll leave it the people who are advising her. She won, and I've done nothing but wish her well."

Nicholls now believes Pendleton is "more than qualified" to compete at Cheltenham, with a final decision set to be announced on Monday by a team of well-informed judges that also include Tony McCoy and jumps guru Yogi Breisner.

Pacha Du Polder's owner Andy Stewart expects both horse and rider to be in action in what is widely recognised as the Gold Cup for amateur riders.

He said: "She did exactly what Paul Nicholls and Tony McCoy told her to do at Wincanton.

"I'm not the decision-maker, but the committee will get their heads together on Monday - she is also riding in point-to-points this weekend - and they will decide.

"The horse is entered at Cheltenham, though, and it is highly likely it will be a yes."