Hong Kong Jockey Schofield to Take Newmarket Ride on Merchant Navy
Jockey Chad Schofield is taking a hiatus from his duties in Hong Kong to have a venture in Australia, where he has a seat on Merchant navy for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200 m) at Flemington racecourse on March 10.
He recently rode four winners at one meeting at Hong Kong’s Sha Tin track and he has been showing good form of late. He has 24 wins for the season in what many consider the most competitive thoroughbred horseracing arena in the world. He currently is ranked sixth in terms of the Honk Kong jockeys’ premiership.
Trainer Aaron Purcell’s three-year-old colt by Fastnet Rock from Legally Bay did not lack for suitors for the ride in the Newmarket, and the winner of the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes is typically ridden by Mark Zahra.
Schofield is delighted to have the opportunity, telling reporters, “I’m very happy. Obviously things are going very well for me here in Hong Kong at the moment and it will be lovely to fly back to Australia to try and win the Newmarket again.”
Just 24, Schofield has the 2013 W S Cox Plate in his bag already, and his most recent big winner was on Nassa in The Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse. He rode Sonntag for the win in the Brisbane Racing Club’s Group 1 Queensland Derby in 2014.
Schofield has spent the last three seasons plying his trade in Hong Kong, but he has kept up with goings on in Australia, especially racing in Victoria and New South Wales.
“I always keep an eye on the Australian racing – I check up on the results and always keep tabs on what is happening in Sydney and Melbourne,” Schofield said.
Merchant Navy will be up against older and more experienced horses in the Newmarket handicap, but that is not a major concern for Schofield, as Merchant Navy could say that Schofield will be going up against some older and more experienced jockeys.