Outstanding young jockey Chad Schofield has picked up the coveted ride on Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 8.
Caulfield trainer Mick Price confirmed today that Lankan Rupee would take on stable mate Samaready at Flemington after winning the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Top Melbourne jockey Craig Newitt steered Lankan Rupee to his maiden Group 1 win at Caulfield but will stick with his beloved Samaready with whom he has a great association including two Group 1 wins in the 2012 $1m Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and the $450,000 Programmed Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last Spring.
Schofield, who is now riding as a senior jockey, has quickly risen through the jockey ranks and after being crowned the champion apprentice in both Sydney and Melbourne was in the national spotlight with his ride on Shamus Award to win last year’s Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
The young rider was very excited to have been chosen to ride the favourite in the famous Group 1 sprint down the Flemington straight and is hoping he will live up to the connection’s expectations.
“I can’t believe it, it’s amazing,” Schofield told Racing Network.
“I’m very privileged to be riding the Newmarket favourite – I hope I do it justice.”
Lankan Rupee, who received 56.5kgs for the Newmarket Handicap when weights were released today, and Samaready, 56kgs, will both head to Sydney after they clash at Flemington on Saturday week to prepare to run in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 12.
“They will run in the Newmarket then get ready to go to Sydney for the T.J. Smith,” Price said.
Lankan Rupee has been installed the $3.80 favourite for the Newmarket Handicap with Ladbrokes.com.au with last year’s winner Shamexpress at $5.50 just in front of Samaready and the vastly improved Knoydart at $6 while the in-form Moment Of Change is marked as a $6.50 chance.