Schofield near personal best, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Schofield near personal best

Sunday's treble takes the South African jockey to 34 winners, just four shy of his best Hong Kong season

Jockey Chad Schofield is well on his way to eclipsing his personal-best Hong Kong tally, after maintaining an excellent run of recent form with his treble at Sha Tin on Sunday.

The South African rider has tallied in the 30s in his four previous Hong Kong campaigns.

Sunday's three-timer took him to 34 winners for the term, just four shy of his best of 38, with 24 meetings remaining.

"I've had a nice run for about two months now. It's been nice and consistent and to get another treble is good - and for three different trainers too. I hope it can keep going," said Schofield.

The rider, who spent much of his childhood and youth in Hong Kong and Australia, has now registered at least one win in the past eight Hong Kong race meetings.

His second three-timer of the year kicked off in Sunday's opener with the Jimmy Ting-trained Wonder Express.

He followed up with a determined front-running success atop Super Power Man for trainer Manfred Man.

Schofield wrapped up his trio one race later on the Ricky Yiu-trained Team Power. The inexperienced four-year-old overcame a bit of buffeting at the top of the straight to earn a breakthrough win at his fourth start.

"The pace wasn't good and the field was very bunched," said Schofield. "I had one of the main dangers, Telecom Rocket, there on my outside and, because they were bunched, I needed to make some room. I tried to get him out, but then a run opened up on the inside and I went back in. He's a nice young horse."

Team Power was the middle leg of a treble for trainer Ricky Yiu, who now leads with 51 winners in the trainers' premiership table - four winners ahead of Francis Lui.

Yiu, who is after his first champion trainer title, also won with Megatron and Mighty Giant. They were ridden by jockey Alfred Chan and reigning champion Zac Purton respectively.

His latest tally is already two more than his previous best of 49 winners, achieved in the 2010/2011 season.

"People messaged me to let me know I'd broken my personal record," said Yiu. "It's a great achievement but, if I win the premiership, then I'll be more than happy.

"Winning these races today has given me a big kick, it's put a bigger margin on Francis in second. I definitely believe I have a good enough string to go on and win the title."

Also achieving a treble on Sunday was jockey Joao Moreira.

After firing blanks at last Wednesday night's Happy Valley meeting, the Brazilian they call the "Magic Man" has earned breathing space in his tight tussle with Purton for the champion jockey title.

Moreira's three-timer - with Defining Moment, Foodie Princess and Fantasy - bulged his total to 104 winners, as his rival's sole win on Mighty Giant took him to 101.

"If I can keep on winning races like today, I'll be extremely happy," said Moreira, a three-time champion in Hong Kong and four-time champion in Singapore.

Jockey Antoine Hamelin's golden start to his Hong Kong career continued with a swooping late run to win on the Michael Chang-trained Mega Heart.

The Frenchman kicked off his contract seven days earlier with a double on the Sha Tin turf, followed by his first Happy Valley success last Wednesday.