Apprentice hoop Chad Schofield is brimming with confidence ahead of Saturday’s 2012 Civic Stakes at Rosehill Gardens that he can get the job done for the punters on the favourite Alberton Park.
The John O’Shea-trained Thorn Park mare opened at the top of the bookmaker.com.au odds to take out the $100,000 Listed Civic Stakes (1400m), running as Rosehill Race 6 at 3:03pm, the five-year-old paying $4.50 in the latest markets.
Drawn in barrier nine of 11 Alberton Park comes off a sixth to See The World in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m), before which she won the Listed June Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.
For both of those runs she was ridden by Tommy Berry but on Saturday 18-year-old Schofield, one of three apprentice jockeys with a ride in the Civic Stakes, takes over riding duties as he resumes from a six-meeting careless riding suspension.
Schofield has ridden Alberton Park once before under race conditions for a good first-up win over 1200m at Rosehill back in January which was the horse’s first start for O’Shea since transferring from Liam Birchley’s Brisbane stables.
He also rode her for a 769m Warwick Farm barrier trial more recently in May and is confident getting back in her saddle this weekend.
If successful it will be a milestone for the young rider who is yet to record a stakes victory.
“I’ve won on her before and I’m really grateful to the owners and Mr O’Shea for giving me the opportunity to get back on her,” Schofield said.
“Hopefully I can repay them by winning on Saturday.”
Schofield knows he is on a classy mare, Alberton Park far from disgraced in her sole Group 1 test to date when sixth to Ofcourseican in the Coolmore Classic (1500m) back in March.
“She’s very talented and very honest,” he said.
“She was only beaten three lengths in the Coolmore Classic and if she’s anywhere near her best she’s going to be very hard to beat.”
Prior to his suspension Schofield sat 14-wins clear over his closest rival in the Sydney Apprentices’ Premiership with 36 metropolitan winners.
While he was out however Sam Clipperton and Adam Hyeronimus only scored one victory a piece, much to Schofield’s relief.
“I was out for two weeks and I was worried they might bridge the gap,” Schofield said.
“Luckily I still hold a big lead with 10 meetings left.
“I’m trying not to think about it and I want to just keep riding winners.
“It (the apprentices’ premiership) has been a goal of mine since before I started race riding so to be so close to getting it is really amazing.”
The other apprentices with mounts in the race are Blake Spriggs on Pimpala Secret (barrier four) and Clipperton on the David Payne-trained Madibagold (barrier one), both roughies in the Civic Stakes betting markets paying $31 and $34 respectively.
Following Alberton Park in the Civic Stakes odds meanwhile are the likes of last-start Rosehill winning three-year-old Famous Seamus ($5.50) and Jeff Brasch’s consistent Mudgee galloper Ideal Position ($6).
Check out the full Civic Stakes betting odds and options, as well as markets for all the other Rosehill races running this Saturday, online now at bookmaker.com.au.
Remember that if you are opening a new account with the Aussie-owned and operated bookmaker.com.au to quote the code BONUSBET to unlock your bookmaker.com.au!