Chad Schofield returns from suspension with a strong book of rides and he hopes a change of scenery can help iron out some of Polymer Luck’s quirks when the miler heads across town for the first time.
Schofield has a number of top chances among his seven rides at Happy Valley on Wednesday night and Polymer Luck heads into an even-looking 1,650m Class Four fit and in form.
Owner Alan Cheung Kin-sang paid HK$7 million for Polymer Luck at the 2015 Hong Kong International Sale and even though the son of Pins has been disappointing overall, Schofield can see some positive signs of late.
Since starting the season in Class Five after six unplaced runs last term, Polymer has finished second in five of his eight starts this time in, including runner-up finishes at his past three.
“He has got more ability than he has showed so far,” Schofield said of Francis Lui Kin-wai’s four-year-old.
“He wants to do a lot wrong still, he is very quirky. But hopefully going to Happy Valley for the first time switches him on, and sometimes that can work, the different scenery can get them more focussed.”
Although most of Schofield’s chances have drawn nicely, the challenge on Polymer Luck will be a wide gate on the C course.
“He has no weight on his back, so if we can get across without spending much, he will keep whacking away,” Schofield said. “Last start I rode him when he was second to Club Life at Sha Tin, we sat box seat and that day he was pretty brave.”
Schofield has swooped on a rare opportunity for up-and-coming trainer Chris So Wai-yin when Flying Monkey contests the Tai Shing Stream Handicap.
Schofield and So are yet to combine for a winner together but with a good draw and back on his favourite course, Flying Monkey looks well placed after a disappointing last start display up the straight at Sha Tin.
“I think his form at Happy Valley is much better,” Schofield said. “He is a very quick horse and 1,000m suits him.”
A more familiar association for Schofield is with trainer Tony Millard, with the combination providing three decent hopes, Golden Partners in the Class Five Ho Chung River Handicap (1,650m), Land Grant in the Class Three Shan Pui River Handicap (1,650m) and Giant Turtle in the Class Three Sauternes Cup (1,650m).
“Giant Turtle was very good on the dirt last start, but he handles Happy Valley well too, he will get a lovely run from his draw, he led last time, but he doesn’t have to lead either,” Schofield said. “Land Grant has been well fancied of late and has had every chance without getting the job done, he will get a cosy run as well – let’s hope he can find that extra length he needs.”