Remember Tom Quealy? Probably not as he’s all but disappeared. For a time, however, his partnership with the great Frankel took him to the dizzying heights that it did.

Same with Luke Nolan and Black Caviar. Same with Hugh Bowman and Winx. Tommy Berry and the great Chautauqua. Mike Smith and Zenyatta.

With Nature Strip already in his cv, who’s to know where James McDonald might be heading with the beast that is Animoe?

In horse racing, it’s not everything, but having that one special horse on your side and with whom you’re associated is a huge advantage and confidence builder which can lead to other places- quite literally.

In Hong Kong, for Chad Schofield, the second consecutive win of Fantastic Treasure at Shatin a couple of Sundays ago was a godsend.

It would be fair to say that it’s not been an easy year for the Chadster with him being plagued by suspensions, and mainly, a bad back.

When out of the limelight for any amount of time, people have short memories, and, not surprisingly, rides, especially good rides, go begging. But not Fantastic Treasure.

The moment it was announced that David Hayes would be training again in Hong Kong, some of us knew that this could only benefit Chad as being a vital support system.

After all, the Hayes-Schofield combination had achieved plenty of success in Melbourne when the jockey was the stable rider while still an apprentice. It stood to reason that he would be a key part of the Hayes’ team in Hong Kong.

He is, but so is Blake Shinn, Keith Yeung and Zac Purton. The big difference between them is Chad Schofield being given the ride on a galloper that’s now won two races in a row for him and with there looking to be plenty more winners to come from Fantastic Treasure next season- and in much bigger races.

Time will tell, so let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves though it’s only natural to be excited at the prospects of what could be.

One only has to look at how much new respect and more opportunities Vincent Ho has gained from his partnership with Golden Sixty. It’s elevated the Hong Kong born rider to world class status.

As Golden Sixty climbs up the ratings, so does the name Vincent Ho. It helps create a brand and who’s to know who out there might be interested in giving the rider new rides that might advance his career?

On Sunday and Champions Day at Sha Tin, Ho, who rode an extremely good race on Wednesday night aboard High Rise Soldier to deprive Matthew Chadwick of his one hundredth winner in Hong Kong, rides Loves Only You for Team Japan in the FWD QE11 Cup. Riding Glory Vase for Japan in the same race is Karis Teetan.

These are huge opportunities for both Hong Kong based riders to remind racing fans in Japan that here just might be jockeys “worthy” of a three month license to ride in that country whenever there’s an opening- and just perhaps get on a future champion Japanese galloper.

Being a good jockey is one thing. Having a champion galloper’s name attached to that curriculum vitae is another. The more names of champions the better.

Of course, in this regard, some jockeys are more fortunate than others. We all, however, can’t be Frankie Dettori or Ryan Moore.

Add Christophe Lemaire to that list. His partnership with Almond Eye is firmly etched into the annals of horse racing history.

Closer to home, think of the equine champions that Joao Moreira and Zac Purton have been associated with over the years- Able Friend, Rapper Drawn, Hot King Prawn for the Brazilian Magic Man, and for the Zac Attack, Exultation and, of course, the one-time world’s best miler in the mighty Beauty Generation.

This season, Joao Moreira has a lock on the very exciting Private Purchase Courier Wonder, another excellent product from Price Bloodstock being schooled by the masterful John Size.

Courier Wonder won at Shatin two weeks ago- his second successive win in Hong Kong. And though not winning by a yawning gap, the galloper- up 28 rating points since his debut win- won eased down and was handled by the Magic Man with kid gloves.

On Champions Day, Joao Moreira rides the favourite in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Cup- Japan’s Danon Smash.

With the Magic Man going through an unusually long winless streak, there’s a great deal riding on how many winners he brings home on Sunday.

The other question is with Classique Legend’s return to Australia, who does the Zac Attack have- or will have- in his corner? He’s not riding trebles and quartets of winners on a regular basis for fun. He’s also riding better than anyone else in Hong Kong- and very possibly the world.

Other than still being hungry to overtake Joao Moreira and win this season’s Hong Kong Jockeys Championship, it’s about marketing himself to trainers and owners and saying, “Yoo hoo, don’t forget meeeee!” They won’t. He’s way too good not to be associated with another champion galloper.

The fly in the ointment to somehow be associated with the next champion Hong Kong horse could well be Blake Shinn.


Photo: @wallacewanck

Though not exactly the most charismatic of people, the former leading rider in Australia has seen fire and rain and is the living embodiment of resilience.

His is a remarkable comeback story. What’s also interesting has been his commitment to succeed in Hong Kong. And it’s happening.

After a slow start, all the groundwork done is paying off. He’s riding winners regularly and seems to be building a strong relationship with David Hayes despite a few hiccups along the way.

Hayes, like Shinn, has taken longer than expected to hit his giant stride, but now that he has with a spate of winners, and new gallopers waiting in the wings, it would be no surprise to see the Australian rider legged aboard one of the stable’s best.

Perhaps a different “customer segment” in horse racing are those who follow jockeys and horses and watch who gets legged aboard which galloper, their ride together and how far they might travel.

Following these developments might even pay dividends. They usually do.

#frankel #winx #blackcaviar #zenyatta #tomquelly #hughbowman #lukenolan #mikesmith #tommyberry #beautygeneration #zacpurton #goldensixty #vincentho #karisteetan #FWDChampionsDay #HKracing