Chad Schofield’s record probably doesn’t adequately match the good impression he has made in his first season and he will be looking to end a frustrating run of outs on Sunday with a couple of key rides in a tough Triple Trio at Sha Tin.
Even at the relatively tender age of 22, Schofield arrived with a sense of expectation built around not only his achievements as a young rider in Australia, but his father being former Hong Kong-based South African, Glyn.
The first half of the season was stalled somewhat by suspensions and just as it seemed Schofield was starting to get things going again at the end of last month, he has hit another flat spot through March.
Schofield, who has 19 wins for the term so far, has endured a run of four straight meetings and 27 rides without a winner, but that should come to a close on Sunday with Travel Renyi and Rouge Et Blanc looking rock-solid bankers in the final two legs of the TT.
Richard Gibson’s consistent five-year-old Travel Renyi drops from Group Three company and a fourth for the jockey in the Hong Kong Macau Trophy into what looks a relatively weak Class Two at the same distance of 1,400m.
Travel Renyi will be forced to lump 130 pounds in the final leg of the TT – a tough task in this company, but with a record of three wins from five starts this term, the gelding looks progressive enough to move on to Class One with a win.
Barrier draws have mostly been on the kind side for Travel Renyi this season and although gate nine doesn’t look pretty on paper, there should be enough speed to string the field out sufficiently enough for Schofield to slot into a two-wide spot just in front of midfield.
Bullish Smart (Vincent Ho Chak-yiu) looks the designated leader and should be included after finding his spark of late, but he will have company up front from lightweights Caga Force, Precision King and Spicy Sure.
Also include last-start winner Rapper Dragon (Joao Moreira), Harrier Jet (Derek Leung Ka-chun) and Brilliant Dream (Karis Teetan).
Overall, it must be said that Danny Shum Chap-shing’s Rouge Et Blanc has been disappointing this season, starting single-figure odds in six of his eight starts but notching just two placings.
Meanwhile, the son of High Chaparral’s rating has dropped to the point where the five-year-old will carry 121 pounds against moderate Class Four opposition after a courageous last-start fourth.
Contesting the same 2,000m course he tackles on Sunday, Rouge Et Blanc raced wide without cover three weeks ago and was beaten less than a length by Towering Storm – a horse he meets six pounds better here.
The key from the tricky starting point though is barrier two, from where Schofield should be able to give Rouge Et Blanc the run of the race.
The pace is hard to predict, although barrier 14 probably won’t stop Zac Purton hunting forward on Unique Happiest, who goes in,and 10-pound claimer Kei Chiong Ka-kei will be pushing up on the inside with Kerkeni.
Some tempo would help a few of the major chances, including Winaswewish (Moreira), Super Silks (Whyte) and Lotus Strikes Back (Tommy Berry).
In the opening leg, a 1,600m Class Four, take Imperial Gallantry (Purton) and Tom’s Charm (Ryan Moore) as double bankers and play wide in a race with a very long tail.
Include at least Our Generation (Whyte), Sparkling Sword (Chiong) and Lightning And Gold (Moreira).