Steven Arnold may have freed himself of his association with Robbie Laing’s 2013 Inglis Classic hopeful Direct Charge but rival hoop Glyn Schofield is more than happy to snap up the ride on the young colt.
The Charge Forward two-year-old broke their maiden status at career start number three during the spring, Direct Charge hanging on by the narrowest of margins to beat home Crack A Roadie in the Group 3 H.K.J.C. Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) on Emirates Stakes Day at Flemington.
Arnold was aboard Direct Charge for the fourth time when they resumed at Warwick Farm on January 5 but the duo were a flop after missing the jump in the TAB Number One Club Plate (1000m) eventually finishing four and a half lengths away sixth to the Gai Waterhouse-trained Swing Vote.
Laing was very disappointed in the result blaming primarily the jockey.
“I was very disappointed that Direct Charge, being virtually the only horse with race experience, bombed the start,” Laing said.
“Steven is a great rider of stayers and he decided to sit there cold on the horse and he didn’t make ground, he probably lost ground coming to the corner.
“I really thought he might peel out and give him an uninterrupted passage in the straight but he wanted to go between horses and got spun sideways at the 250m – after all that the run was good.”
But the trainer didn’t have to sack Arnold with the hoop “sacking himself” after admitting to the trainer that his ride was below par.
“He sacked himself,” Laing said. “Steven said he rode the horse poorly.”
It didn’t take Laing long to find another experienced jockey willing to jump in Direct Charge’s saddle for their second-up run of this prep, Schofield picking up the ride for this Saturday’s $250,000 2013 Inglis Classic (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Since their Warwick Farm failure Direct Charge has been working the house down and Laing is full of confidence that they will bounce back into the winner’s stall on Saturday when they step up to the 1200m for the first time.
“He worked terrific at Cranbourne on Saturday,” he said.
“He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fit and he’s honest and he’s crying out for the 1200m.”
There were a total of 20 juveniles nominated for the Inglis Classic 2013 with other notable hopes including last start Eagle Farm winner Cannyzing, Waterhouse’s unraced son of 2004 Golden Slipper second placegetter Zizou Marseille Roulette, and Inglis Nursery second and third place getters Fuerza and Sweet Kiss.
The 2013 Inglis Classic final field and barrier draw are due for release on Wednesday with Races.com.au to publish the acceptances and gates.
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