Purely from a self-interest point of view, Chad Schofield was right behind trainer Tony Millard’s plan to rest World Record after another win, with the jockey starting a month-long suspension this week.
“Tony told me that he was giving the horse a rest and I said ‘good, you can keep him for when I get back’, hopefully the horse will be back ready to race when I return,” Schofield said, with the jockey to sit out the rest of December with an eight-meeting careless riding charge.
Schofield, who will head home to Australia during his enforced layoff, believes World Record can stay competitive after back-to-back wins.
Millard was a little more tentative with his assessment though, believing that World Record might be reaching his mark and will benefit from a break between races.
“He has had a couple of hard runs so it will do him some good,” Millard said. “We will need to place him very carefully now.”
The key Sunday was an “executive decision” tactically by Schofield to push forward shortly after the start, and then hope the horse didn’t revert to old habits and over-race.
Schofield admitted he had taken a risk and Millard said he was even more doubtful about the decision as he watched the race unfold.
“When he went forward I thought ‘what the hell are you doing?’, because when we’ve taken him forward before he has stopped,” Millard said. “He has obviously improved though.”
Schofield said a slow pace helped him in the way the horse was able to naturally roll into a prominent position rather than being pushed.
“It was a gamble, but he was doing it himself, I wasn’t making him get there,” he said.
“He has been unlucky with his draw, he drew well last time but he was drawn out in the car park again. The plan was to slot in for cover, but we couldn’t get in, so I let him cruise around.
“I just rode him on feel, he was travelling sweetly and the pace was slackening so I just let him stride up outside the leader. When I asked him to quicken again, he showed an impressive turn of foot, it was a strong win.”
Meanwhile, Nash Rawiller, who was joining Schofield on the sidelines through suspension throughout December, had his ban extended with yet another careless riding charge.
Three consecutive charges carried Rawiller’s ban through to January 12, but now the Australian will return a week later on January 19.
Rawiller was given two days and fined HK$60,000 for shifting in on Northern Falls at the 800m of the eighth race and hampering Majestic Anthem.