Leading Melbourne trainer Peter Moody will stick with jockey Chad Schofield when he returns from another lengthy suspension in mid October.
Schofield was suspended for thirty-two meetings after the stewards charged him with improper riding on the Moody trained Saguaro in the W&P Truck Sales BenchMark 78 Handicap at Mornington Wednesday.
But Moody put it in the competitive riding category and he said that he would continue to give Schofield rides when he returns to the saddle during the middle of the Spring Carnival.
“I personally won’t (dump him) became I know the boy’s ability and I feel for the kid because I feel it is unjust,” Moody told the Herald Sun.
“To me, it looked like good competitive riding.”
“I feel for the kid as I believe it’s something we see in most races and I certainly felt that my horses have been put under more severe pressure on occasions by other riders and have escaped the wrath of anyone.
“He was riding my horse and I would have been critical if he didn’t attempt to improve his position by getting in one off the fence. Had there been a horse inside Michelle Payne, no doubt he wouldn’t have.”
But the stewards claimed that Schofield turned his horse’s head inwards at the 1100m and made contact with Michelle Payne’s mount Something To Share and then on another two occasions bumped heavily with Payne again heading towards the 850m mark and suspended him until midnight on October 17.
Saguaro, the $3.70 favourite went on to run third while Something To Share ($3.80) went on to finish fifth.
Schofield had only been back riding for ten days following a twenty-seven meeting suspension for careless riding and will lodge an appeal against his latest charge.
Moody has a big opinion of the emerging star of the Melbourne jockey ranks and has been giving the young jockey plenty of rides recently, but is concerned that he might have trouble bouncing back after this latest setback.
“There is no doubt the boy’s confidence is going to suffer and it will take a herculean effort for the kid to bounce back from it,” Moody said.
“There’s no doubt about it that he is going to be looking over his shoulder so much in a race — let’s hope he doesn’t and let’s hope we don’t lose him to Victorian racing because he is a young talented man with the world at his feet.”
Schofield had been the regular rider for Moody’s smart filly Bring Me The Maid but had to miss the ride on the Sebring filly in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 13.
Schofield rode at Flemington last Saturday while Luke Nolen retained the ride on Bring Me The Maid in the Golden Rose Stakes after partnering her to win the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 23 while Schofield was on the sidelines suspended.
But Nolen had no luck on the filly and after struggling to find a clear passage in the straight finished eighth to the Bart and James Cummings trained Hallowed Crown.
To say the least Schofield has had a chequered start to the Spring Carnival and only returned to race riding on August 6 after spending several months on the sidelines after fracturing his C3 vertabra in a fall at Cranbourne on June 8.
The young rider was hoping to get his momentum going for another successful Spring campaign after claiming his first Group 1 win in last year’s $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on the front running Shamus Award.
Following his win in the Cox Plate, Schofield continued his rise up through the jockey’s ranks and collected his second Group 1 trophy when he guided super sprinter Lankan Rupee to a sensational win in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 8.
Then he added the Group 1 Champagne Stakes at Randwick on April 26 to his resume after scoring on the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas trained Go Indy Go before heading to Brisbane for the Winter Carnival where he took out the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 on Sonntag for Caulfield trainer Henry Dwyer.
Schofield has eight rides on the nine race program at Caulfield on Saturday including two for Moody, Spirits Dance in the Group 3 $150,000 Sportingbet Sprint Series Heat 2 Stakes (1200m) and Gig A Pony in the Dalziel Racing Tile Importer Handicap (1400m).
His other rides are Bullpit in the first and Adamantium in the third for Danny O’Brien, Hawking for trainer Mick Price in the second and Berimbau for John O’Shea in the fourth.
Schofield will then team up with Robert Hickmott on Foundry in the Group 3 $150,000 Jack London Naturalism Stakes (2000m) and Thought Worthy in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m).