Chad Schofield back on radar in Sydney

After a lengthy stint riding in Hong Kong, jockey Chad Schofield is looking to build a book of rides for the upcoming autumn carnival.

He has only been back riding in Sydney for six weeks, but jockey Chad Schofield is aiming to gather himself an arsenal of rides for the lucrative carnival races in the coming months.

Schofield has spent the past seven years plying his trade in Hong Kong, and has found it challenging to come back to Sydney and reignite his connections with trainers and owners alike.

Champion trainer Chris Waller has thrown him a bone, with Schofield set to ride Waller’s ATC Oaks winning mare Hungry Heart in this Saturday’s Group 2 Apollo Stakes over 1400m at Royal Randwick.

“She’s a lovely ride for me, she’s a very talented mare,” Schofield told SEN’s Andrew Bensley on Monday.

“A high quality horse, and her trials look to be very good. So hopefully she’s come back in good order and can run a good race.”

Another trainer happy to give Schofield some opportunities moving forward is Randwick-based conditioner John O’Shea, who engages Schofield on his promising Sebring filly Jal Lei. She lines up in the Group 2 Light Fingers over 1200m this weekend.

The three-year-old has built up a handy record at the midweeks, with three wins and a third from just four outings, and has earned her shot at elite company.

“He (O’Shea) had glowing reports for her at the trials and I can see why because she oozes a lot of class,” Schofield said.

“She’ll tackle black type racing now and I’m sure she’s up to it.

“I loved her trial with me at Warwick Farm last week. I think she can run a really good race.”

O’Shea will also book Schofield to ride another Sebring filly in Lady Harlem in the Pierro Plate over 1100m, a galloper Schofield is yet to steer. The two-year-old showed a stack of promise on debut when running second in the Listed Inglis Banner over 1000m at Moonee Valley last October.

“I don’t know much about this filly as of yet but maybe I can sit on her tomorrow or Thursday,” Schofield said.

“It’s nice to get rides from John, he’s been quite supportive of me since I came back. It would be good to reward him with a winner.”

Schofield showed potential trainers that he is back with a bang by taking out the $2 million Inglis Millennium on the weekend aboard the Tony and Calvin McEvoy-trained two-year-old Xtravagant Star. The Xtravagant filly was given a peach of a ride by Schofield, who was confident throughout the run.

“I was in a position of control where I was just stalking the leaders and I had the horse underneath me,” Schofield said.

“She just put herself right there, she travelled strongly and got around Randwick very well for the first time of asking, so it was impressive.

“It was a good thrill, I got a good kick out of it. To win a nice feature like that will definitely help me get going here in Sydney again.”

And with a baby due this week, the $58,000 in jockey’s commission from the Inglis Millennium will certainly help Schofield’s cause.

“We are expecting on Wednesday so it’s a bit of a whirlwind at the moment, but it’s very exciting,” Schofield said.

“She (wife Hannah) is ready to have him now, it’s been a long time and she’s quite uncomfortable. But we’re not far away and can see the finish line.”


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