Schofield shines with a Sha Tin treble

Chad Schofield takes his season tally to 20 with a three-timer.

By Declan Schuster, Hong Kong Jockey Club

Chad Schofield starred with a treble on a bright afternoon (Sunday, 1 March) at Sha Tin and highlighted his haul with a masterful ride aboard Circuit Three in section two of the Class 3 Lai King Handicap (1400m).

The rider had the Savabeel gelding in midfield on the fence upon turning for home but in the home straight was forced to watch as gaps opened and closed; Schofield remained cool and collected though and was rewarded when a split between Snap Fit (128lb) and Hardly Swears (125lb) presented at the 250m point.

“I was always confident of getting a run somewhere – I had a few options so I took one eventually and then he was able to show his customary finish,” Schofield said.

“It was a good win – he was a short-priced favourite but we knew we were going to sit midfield on the fence somewhere and that we’d need a bit of luck but when we got it, especially with top weight, he really managed to hit the line strongly.”

The Hong Kong International Sale graduate notched up a hat-trick of wins with that score, taking his earnings to HK$3,387,530. The New Zealand-bred now has four wins from his last five starts and before today has risen 23 rating points to 75 since his opening mark of 52.

Schofield followed that win with an all-the-way score on Eternal Harvest in the Class 4 Shek Lei Handicap (1200m), the first of a double for trainer Ricky Yiu after Allied Agility grabbed the Class 3 Kwai Fong Handicap (1000m).

The 26-year-old’s three-timer began with Amazing Chocolate’s comfortable triumph in the Shek Wai Kok Handicap (1400m). The Sepoy gelding broke evenly to settle midfield before burrowing between runners to hit the front at the 350m mark, eventually cruising to an easy four and three quarter-length score.

“The blinkers went on, we rode him for speed today and those two combined switched him right on – he was way too good,” Schofield said.

The Australian-bred five-year-old had his second start for trainer Tony Millard who missed the win as he was away in Melbourne, Australia for the 2020 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

“I rode him once or twice previously but I hadn’t ridden him since he’d been at his new stable, he did very well today” Schofield said.

“Tony (Millard) has got an amazing record with stable transfers and it’s great to get another win for him,” said Schofield who has three wins this term for the handler.

Millard’s record with stable transfers is headlined by the great Ambitious Dragon who prior to racing for the handler was a maiden before securing the 2011 BMW Hong Kong Derby under the South African’s care.

His exploits of late include Elusive State, who from 24 starts was a three-time winner, before transferring to Millard to add a further five wins from only 10 runs, stamping his claims as Hong Kong’s best dirt horse while a trip to Dubai for the G2 Godolphin Mile is also a possibility.

Author: iRace