Matthew Chadwick has an affinity with Happy Valley – two thirds of his winners have come at the city track this season – and he is hoping to keep that rolling with a solid book of seven rides on Wednesday night.
Chadwick feels the Valley gives those jockeys who ride horses down in the market more of a chance of snaring a victory and he relishes his opportunities there.
The 28-year-old certainly boasts a better strike rate at Happy Valley this season with his eight winners coming from 82 rides, as opposed to Sha Tin where he has four winners from 120 mounts.
“I enjoy Happy Valley, you can ride a bit more of a race there and you have to ride a bit more tactically, so more horses get more of a chance,” Chadwick said.
“At Sha Tin, the handicap plays a big role whereas [at the Valley] the ride and the gates can play a bit more of a factor.
“It’s more open and that’s why horses get more of a chance. As I rider, I find that more enjoyable – but I’m happy to ride a winner anywhere.”
Richard Gibson is certainly one trainer who believes in Chadwick’s ability there, telling The Post last month “I have a lot of confidence in him, I think he rides Happy Valley brilliantly”.
Before this season, the two had combined for just one winner together from 82 rides in six years. This term, they have four winners – all at the Valley – from 47 opportunities and they join forces five times on Wednesday night.
“It’s been positive, I got off rolling nicely for him at the beginning of the season, we had a bit of luck go our way and I was able to ride a couple of winners,” Chadwick said.
“It’s been a bit tougher recently, but he’s been a great supporter. We’ve just had some tougher barriers and a couple of up-and-coming horses have been able to beat us but with a bit more luck we can turn the tables.”
One horse knocking on the door is Goldfield, a two-time Group One winner in Argentina who is edging closer to his maiden Hong Kong win after back-to-back placings.
The five-year-old appears to be on the verge of breaking through and Chadwick will be doing his best from barrier six in the Class Three Southorn Handicap (1,800m).
“It’s a funny gate, we’ll see how he jumps. There doesn’t look to be too much pace on, so I’ve got some time to make a decision about how the race might pan out. I’d like to have him a bit closer than further back because he is a bit one-paced,” he said.
“He seems to be very consistent and genuine now so if we get the right run in transit then I think we should be right in the finish.”