Jockey Glyn Schofield is surprised and delighted to have been asked to “pinch hit” at Happy Valley on Wednesday night with his first ride in Hong Kong since July, 2006.
With injuries to Ben So Tik-hung and apprentice Kei Chiong Ka-kei keeping them sidelined and jockey numbers stretched to breaking with seven riders on the suspended list, 48-year-old Schofield, visiting his club jockey son, Chad, was just in the right place at the right time.
After Hypersonic had to be withdrawn from the last race at Sha Tin on Saturday when there was no suitable jockey available, the Jockey Club reached out to Schofield to take on a temporary licence in an effort to prevent any similar occurrence on Wednesday night.
“Luckily I’m here in the right circumstances,” he said on Monday as he returned from a brief holiday with wife Tiffany in Thailand.
“I wasn’t suspended in Sydney, I just thought I’d take a couple of weeks off. We arrived on international day, I thought we could have a holiday and come and see Chad for Christmas.
“It’s a bit of a surprise that the club asked me to ride, but a welcome one and I’m chuffed to be asked.”
The South African rode 142 winners over four seasons here from 2002 to 2006, including a Hong Kong Sprint and a QE II Cup win, and Schofield later relocated to Sydney where he has been successful and where Chad began his career as an apprentice.
Chad and Glyn Schofield will be only the second father and son to hold a jockey’s licence simultaneously in Hong Kong’s professional racing era; Tony Cruz’s father Johnny still had a licence in the first year of Tony’s apprenticeship, although they did not ride against each other and neither will the Schofields.
“It’s a pity Chad is suspended or we might have raced each other,” said Schofield, who has just one ride, Berlini for David Hall, for whom he has only had three previous rides, with months between each during 2005 and 2006.
“David obviously likes keeping me on the fresh side. Anyway, the horse looks to have some good form when he ran third to Strathmore and Accepted two runs ago and they have both gone well since, so maybe he has a chance.”