Racing history is littered with promising young apprentices who haven’t managed to capitalise on their early brilliance – but the diminutive and dynamic Chad Schofield looks highly likely to more than live up to his early promise. He certainly has been anointed with the ultimate accolade from internationally successful trainer, David Hayes. South African-born and originally Sydney-based, now indentured to the Hayes stable in Victoria, young Chad earned the sobriquet of the “next Craig Williams” from the master last weekend. Hayes, though, added extra lustre to his accolades by also likening Schofield to Brent Thomson and John Stocker.
High praise indeed!
Thomson, a Kiwi, set Victorian racing alight in the 1970s. He had six Cox Plate rides for four wins – Fury’s Order, Family Of Man, So Called and Dulcify – a remarkable feat. He also rode with distinction overseas and was even successful for the Queen in England.
South Australian John Stocker was another raging success in Melbourne, through his association with such greats as Tobin Bronze, Taras Bulba and Maybe Mahal. Even better remembered and revered, though, was his copybook ride to win the 1976 Caulfield Cup on How Now from a wide alley. He was also one of the youngest jockeys – just 17-years-old – to win the Caulfield Cup in 1964 on Yangtze.
Hayes generally isn’t given to outlandish statements and his opinion of Schofield is entitled to be respected. Tipping the scales at 46 kilograms, Schofield is the archetypal ‘Mighty Mouse’ of Australian racing and clearly is being groomed for stardom. A case of the mouse that roared maybe?
Followers of racing will be united in their support for jockey Chris Munce as he embarks on the toughest ride of his life – to beat throat cancer. Munce is an outstanding jockey and surely he has endured enough bad luck, having to suffer the indignity of that outlandish jail term punishment for tipping in Hong Kong. Since emerging from incarceration, Munce has quickly picked up the reins of his career and is the premier jockey in Queensland.
His roll of riding honours includes Melbourne Cup (Jezabeel), Caulfield Cup (Descarado), two Golden Slippers (Prowl and Dance Hero) and the Cox Plate (Savabeel). As a jockey he had a never say die attitude that will stand him in good stead in these worrying times.
The Perth carnival continues on Saturday with the Group One Kingston Town Classic and the Railway Stakes winner, Mr Moet, seems to be enticingly priced at double figure odds. Considering he won the 1600 metre Railway first-up from a spell it would be reasonable to think he will be suited by the extra 200 metres this weekend. Another factor in his favour is his winter form of three consecutive wins at 2000 metres, 2100 metres and 2200 metres. Mind you, he does encounter a huge handicap differential having carried 53.5 kilograms in the Railway and he jumps to 59 kilograms under the weight-for-age conditions of the Kingston Town. Still, what the heck, the odds get me every time. A faint heart never won a fair lady!
The Listed Festival Stakes is the highlight at Rosehill on Saturday and the Anthony Cummings-trained Shadows In The Sun looks set to shine. Now a five-year-old, he was the winner of the SA Derby in 2011 and has resumed from a spell recently to finish a close second over 1200 metres at Rosehill. His previous form would suggest the extra distance of 1500 metres should be to his liking and he has the guile and experience of Glyn Schofield to guide him through this exercise.
Surely a win is somewhat overdue for Oh My Papa which lines up in race four at Rosehill, the Hitachi Handicap (1500 metres). A more than useful mare, Oh My Papa is still a metropolitan maiden but she has won four races on the country circuit. An indication she would measure up in the big smoke was provided by her latest start when fourth, but only a length from the winner, at the end of 1500 metres at Rosehill a fortnight ago.
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