Chad Schofield is looking to cash in on an extraordinary trend that has delivered a third of all Hong Kong winners so far this season – the stable change.
So far six of the 18 winners have come in their first run for their new trainer and a host of horses fitting that description will come to the races at Sha Tin on Sunday looking to further that stat.
With David Hayes taking time to allow his new horses to adapt to life in Hong Kong, he is reliant on tried gallopers to carry him through the first part of the season and gives Schofield his best chance yet to breakthrough for a victory early in 2020-21.
Schofield will partner Mighty Power for his former boss in the Class Four Tai Kok Tsui Handicap (1,400m), who has his first start for Hayes since arriving from Benno Yung Tin-pang’s stable.
The six-year-old never looked a likely type under Yung, running 12 times for no placings, but his barrier trials would suggest he has improved significantly under the care of Hayes.
“He has been working well, his trials have been good and he seems to be very happy in his new environment,” Schofield said.
Schofield has partnered the son of Power in both of his trials this season, along with most of his trackwork.
While barrier 13 might put a slight dent in their confidence, Schofield is happy to position Mighty Power wherever he is comfortable.
“We are hoping he can run well, unfortunately we’ve drawn a poor gate but if we get any luck, he can go well,” he said.
Well done, David Hayes!— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) September 6, 2020
The two-time champion trainer gets a winner with his first runner, just as he did 25 years ago as Moneymore charges home for Keith Yeung. #SeasonOpener #HKracing pic.twitter.com/qvftwV1iuV
“He is a horse that generally races handy, he has shown a bit of speed in his trials so we will jump him out and see where we end up mid-race.”
Hayes made an immediate impression on opening day when he was able to salute with the previously winless Moneymore in Class Five company and many judges have suggested there is more left for the Australian handler.
With Schofield completing his apprenticeship in Australia under Hayes, the pair have significant history and the young jockey knows Hayes’ support could go a long way to continuing his growth in Hong Kong.
“He has had a great start to the season so hopefully I can supply him with some winners,” he said.
Rival trainer Chris So Wai-yin showed how deadly stable-change runners can be on Wednesday night when he saluted with both Wins All and Faithful Trinity in consecutive races before Caspar Fownes struck with Guy Dragon – ironically from So’s stable – in the final race of the night.
Other stable-change runners on Sunday include Moon Peaks, Star Present, Laos Enlightenment, Dragon Bolt, Pearl Champion, Good Beauty, Czarson, Enjoying, Magic Legend, Superb Daddy and So We Joy.