Eleven of Chad Schofield’s 32 wins this season have been achieved in tandem with trainer Tony Millard. The latest of those came in Saturday afternoon’s opener at Sha Tin as Shimmer And Shine (126lb) edged out Lunar Zephyr (114lb) in the Class 4 Macau-Taipa Bridge Handicap (1000m).
That was the Showcasing three-year-old’s first win at start three and signalled his farewell to the straight 1000m strip.
“I won’t try and win another at 1000 (metres), I think we were lucky to win this one. I think he’ll be a 1400-metre horse,” Millard said, after Schofield had foiled Victor Wong, the Millard stable’s apprentice whose 10lb claim was only enough to guide Lunar Zephyr to a short-head second.
“I’m very happy with that, it was a nice win and we’ll most probably go for a 1200 (metres) next,” Millard said. “He’s a nice horse, unfortunately he got injured – he ran with an injury at Happy Valley (in January), which set him right back and it’s been slow progress coming back.
“He put his head down today because he was off the bit from the start but he still kicked on.”
Shimmer And Shine (yellow silks) lands the opener for Chad Schofield and Tony Millard, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
Joao Moreira notched a race-to-race double mid-card with two accomplished rides. The Champion Jockey settled within striking range atop the John Moore-trained Experto Crede in race four, shifting out and kicking to the fore down the stretch to hold Amazing Satchmo by a neck.
Teetan was atop the runner-up and the two riders went at it again in the next, with Moreira sealing the victory on the Lor-trained Desmios. The Brazilian ace began his run from deep, weaving out to clear ground then driving late to collar the Teetan-ridden Indigenous Star in the last stride. The margin was a short-head.
Moore, meanwhile, completed a double when apprentice Matthew Poon was afforded a cosy lead on Go Beauty Go in race seven, the Class 3 Cotai Handicap (1600m). The 2016 Hong Kong International Sale graduate took his career tally to five wins from 26 starts, this time as the 3.5 market second pick.
Cheerfuljet’s fourth win of the season opened new avenues. Caspar Fownes’ charge was having his first try on the all-weather track in the Class 3 Taipa Handicap, having won three times at Happy Valley already this term. Jockeys’ premiership challenger Zac Purton steered the 3.2 favourite to a two and a half-length score.
The Francis Lui-trained Jumbo Luck, a 10/1 shot, landed race nine, the Class 2 Macau Handicap (1000m), with 5lb claimer Jack Wong up top. Trainer Michael Chang and jockey Eddy Lai combined to win the day’s 1200m Class 4 on the all-weather with Grand Harbour.
Hong Kong racing continues at Happy Valley on Wednesday, 16 May.