Matthew Chadwick has overcome a virus that cost him a Class Two winner on the weekend and says he won’t be dwelling on the past ahead of his return to the saddle at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
Chadwick had to forfeit six rides on Saturday and watched on as Keith Yeung Ming-lun piloted Savvy Six to victory, but his focus is firmly on getting the best out of a couple of horses he thinks are a good chance on Wednesday.
“A winner is a winner but I’m not worried about it because I wasn’t at my best. The main thing is I’m recovering. There is no point looking back,” he said.
“I had a bit of a virus but I’m in the recovery stage and as long as I haven’t got a fever I will be fine to ride. I’ve just got a bit of a sore throat now.
“I know I’ve only got three rides but a couple can run decent races so I’m going in with a positive attitude.”
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Chadwick’s best chance looks to be in the night’s final event – the Class Three High Island Handicap (1,650m) – with Acclaimed Light stepping out for the first time this season for in-form trainer Paul O’Sullivan.
The seven-year-old trialled nicely on October 4 to finish within a length of Thanks Forever and ended last season strongly with a win in Class Four and a third in Class Three.
“He’s a very consistent horse. I trialled him at Conghua and again at Sha Tin and he went through the gears and seems to be ticking over nicely,” Chadwick said.
“He’s come back well and he’s nice and fresh, hopefully we can get a nice run from gate two. He’s lovely to ride and hopefully he can bring all his good work from the track to the racecourse.”
Chadwick also teams up with Manfred Man Ka-leung’s last-start winner Compassion Star, who steps up in grade for the Class Four Tai Lam Chung Handicap (1,200m).
Chadwick hasn’t ridden the horse before and knows he’ll have to be on his game to combat barrier 10.
“He’s won in the grade previously but the gate is not going to be helpful,” he said. “It will be very interesting to see how the race is run, it looks like it’s going to be a bit of a messy race so it could be a headache from an outside gate.
“We’ll just have to see how he jumps and try to slot in somewhere. He looks like he’s got a decent turn of foot.”
Chadwick’s third ride also comes for O’Sullivan in the form of the unremarkable Mehboob, who failed to finish better than seventh in four starts in his debut season.
“Last season he showed a bit of promise but he wasn’t finishing his races off,” the jockey said. “Towards the end of last season we thought he was getting better and we tweaked a few things with him but he didn’t turn up on race day.
“Maybe with a break during the off-season he has come back a bit better but only time will tell. He trialled OK but he’s done that before in a trial.”