He’s on the verge of cracking a half-century of winners for only the second time in his career and is leading the way in the Tony Cruz Award, but it is very much business as usual for Matthew Chadwick.
The 31-year-old sits on 49 winners with five meetings remaining in the season and leads Vincent Ho Chak-yiu by three in the race to be crowned leading local jockey and take home the Tony Cruz Award.
While he admits he’s aware of what’s at stake in the next couple of weeks, Chadwick is more focused on ensuring he’s got the cattle required to keep his numbers ticking over.
“I haven’t really been focused on the number, I’ve just been trying to get better rides but it’s still difficult of course – I’m still finding it frustrating that I can’t get better rides,” said Chadwick, whose personal best of 57 wins came in 2012-13.
“It would be nice if I can hang onto [the Tony Cruz Award]. I want to just keep riding winners – I’m most focused on getting the best out of my horses.”
Chadwick has seven rides at Sha Tin on Friday and his best chance looks to come aboard Money Catcher in the Class Two Uncompromising Integrity Handicap (1,800m).
The Frankie Lor Fu-chuen-trained four-year-old has placed in five of eight Hong Kong starts, including the Derby, and Chadwick picks up the ride from the suspended Derek Leung Ka-chun, who is also in the Tony Cruz Award mix with 44 winners, but looks to have his work cut out with two meetings on the sidelines ahead of him.
“Derek’s out, otherwise it’d be his ride – I’m sort of waiting in the wings all the time with a lot of the horses I get,” Chadwick said, also pointing to his victory aboard Voyage Bubble on the weekend – a ride he snared in the absence of Joao Moreira.
😲 Thriller!!! - the 2022 BMW Hong Kong Derby did not disappoint.— Hong Kong Racing (@HongKong_Racing) March 20, 2022
ROMANTIC WARRIOR out-battling California Spangle to give @KarisTeetan a first win in the famous race.#HKRacing pic.twitter.com/7SJ43gWuX0
“The horse has been performing consistently so hopefully he can go one better this time. I’ve been waiting to have my go on him so I hope I can produce on him.”
Money Catcher takes on David Hall’s Beluga, the smart Running Glory and last start runners-up Bourbonaire and Sight Spirit.
Chadwick doesn’t feature in the afternoon’s Class One contest but among his other mounts, he gives John Size’s Leading Fortune an outside chance in the Class Three Sportsmanship Handicap (1,600m).
“He was in good form earlier in the season and it looks like he’s found his mark, but he’s still running well so you never know,” Chadwick said. “The favourite [Tuchel] will be very hard to beat and Looking Cool is probably in with a shout.”
Tuchel is also trained by Size and chases a hat-trick of victories after graduating to Class Three company following two impressive Class Four successes.
Rounding out Chadwick’s book are a trio of rides for Manfred Man Ka-leung in M M Johnny, We Are Hero and Spicy Skewer, as well as Michael Chang Chun-wai’s Sea Monarch and Light Of Wanshi for Chris So Wai-yin.
Ho heads to Sha Tin with nine rides, including impressive last-start victor Winning Dreamer.