Talented young Australian jockey Chad Schofield will be hoping that Prince Of Wales’s Stakes contender Criterion will promote him onto the world stage before he takes up a six month riding contact in Hong Kong in September.
The Cox Plate winning jockey gained the ride ahead of Craig Williams and Damien Oliver on the David Hayes trained Criterion in the Group 1 £525,000 The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (1 mile, 2 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 17.
A win at Royal Ascot would boost the confidence of Schofield before he heads to Hong Kong to join other Australian jockeys Zac Purton, Brett Prebble and Nash Rawllier in what is regarded as one of the toughest racing precincts in the world to compete in.
Naturally Scholfield is thrilled to take up the six month offer which will start at the beginning of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s new racing season on September 1 until February 1 with the possibility it can be extended.
“Thrilled and honored to be given a 6 month riding stint by the HKJC for the start of next season. Can’t wait to get there,” Schofield said on twitter.
Schofield has had a checked but highly successful career that has been punctuated with multiple suspensions and severe injuries that had kept him out of the saddle for months at a time.
But the young jockey has four Group 1 trophies on the mantelpiece as well as two apprentice premiership titles.
Schofield created history when as an apprentice rode a daring race to win his first Group 1 on Shamus Award in the 2013 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
He then went on win the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on Lankan Rupee and the Group 1 $400,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Go Indy Go during the 2014 Autumn Carnival, and then the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm during the Brisbane Winter Carnival on Sonntag.
Criterion heads to Royal Ascot as one the main fancies for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and has drawn barrier seven in the ten horse field.
The four year old was one of the stars of ‘The Championhips’ with his win in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 11 and then went on to run third behind Blazing Speed and Staphanos in the Group 1 HK$20m Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on April 26 with Craig Williams both days.
The Dermot Weld trained Free Eagle heads the market at $3.75 ahead of Ectot at $5.50, The Grey Gatsby at $6, Western Hymn at $8, Cannock Chase at $9 while Criterion is rated an $11 chance.