Father and son jockeys Glyn and Chad Schofield weren’t content with just making some racing history by riding on the same card, they went right through with the job by getting a winner each and riding a family quinella.
Chad won on Ho Lee Horse in the sixth race, relegating his father to second, then Glyn charged home to arrive in time on Caspar Fownes-trained Vanilla in the eighth to score the rarest of doubles.
In the professional history of Hong Kong, there had never been a father and son ride against each other and it was only made possible this time by Glyn’s invitation to help out the club when jockey numbers had been pulled tight by injuries and suspensions.
“To be invited back after such a long time it is an honour. Hong Kong is Hong Kong, we all know how great it is to ride here,” said Schofield senior, who rode 151 winners here from 2003 to 2006, the most recent in June 2006.
“That’s a long drought but luckily not many outs in that time! Look, Chad and I have ridden against each other many times in Australia but doing it here, and especially with us both getting a winner, that’s something pretty special. A day to remember.”
Earlier, the Schofields had filled the quinella when Chad led throughout on Richard Gibson-trained Ho Lee Horse, with Glyn second on Entrusting, at one time the winner’s stablemate.
Gibson said he had come to the race with a degree of confidence, despite Ho Lee Horse’s record locally of 13 starts without a placing, as it was the gelding’s first attempt on dirt.
“He won on the polytrack in England by 10 lengths at his only start there so I always knew he would be OK on the dirt,” the trainer explained.
“But Chad also gave him a peach of a ride. He’s won by a margin but in reality he was flattered by that because Chad was able to get such an easy lead, then get a break.”
Schofield junior said he could feel the difference in Ho Lee Horse getting on to the more forgiving surface of the all-weather track.
“He obviously has a few issues and on the turf he doesn’t really let down when you ask him, but he really let go today,” he said.
Like Ho Lee Horse, Vanilla was a horse who found his niche here on the dirt after arriving as a four-year-old with classic aspirations and Group One placings on wet ground in Australia. His previous wins had been over 1,800m but he handled the drop to an extended mile and the victory was in typical style, storming late to win narrowly.
“I actually thought Vanilla was really well coming into it and I was confident, but then the first two dirt winners led all the way. It looked like it was favouring on speed and that dented my confidence a bit,” said Fownes. “But he isn’t the kind of horse you can change plan, so I just asked Glyn to drop him out like he normally does and I just hoped there would be a few deciding to press forward and enough pace for him to be able to finish over them.”