On a day for drought breakers, trainer Dennis Yip Chor-hong overcame a case of “the yips” as he broke a long run of outs with the help of a top-shelf ride from Chad Schofield.
It may not have received the same attention as Douglas Whyte’s recent woes, but Yip had not won a race for more than two months and had a total of exactly 100 outs coming into yesterday’s meeting.
First, Winner St Paul’s stopped the rot for the yard when he broke through courtesy of Schofield’s picture-perfect ride, before Cheerful Frame scored on the dirt for Neil Callan to give the trainer a double and some much-needed momentum.
“This is racing and sometimes this can happen,” Yip said, who also had just 10 placings during the rough patch. “I have to thank the jockeys today, they both rode very good races.”
Winner St Paul’s had been unlucky not to win earlier in the season when a narrow second to London Master in a race where he was beaten a short head and Whyte unsuccessfully protested against the winner.
However, the five-year-old had also thrown his chances away at times through overracing.
“He needs a very good rider to make sure he doesn’t race too keen,” Yip said. “That is Chad’s first winner for me and I will keep using him.”
Schofield himself hadn’t ridden a winner since November, although that particular drought was more due to suspensions, yet still rode a confident race on the 21-1 shot. The 21-year-old went back from gate 12, before taking inside runs and weaving between runners, only to find space with 300m to go before catching equal favourites Good Man and I’m A Witness late.
“Overracing is his main issue, so getting him to relax is the priority, then we just needed a bit of luck,” Schofield said. “To his credit, he sprinted home very well when he got clear.”
Cheerful Frame won over 1,400m earlier this season and after switching to the dirt last start over 1,200m, a step up to 1,650m on the same surface worked out perfectly.
“We found ourselves in a very good spot in the run, and that was key,” said Callan, who had a double to take him to 21 wins and a top-five spot in the jockeys’ championship. “We got out at the right time and pinched a break of a couple of lengths with 200m to go. He is such a big horse, with a nice long stride, so once we were clear like that we were always going to maintain it right to the line.”