By Ray Hickson
Glyn Schofield is yet to win a Metropolitan, Flight or Premiere Stakes but the champion jockey has the ammunition to add his name to at least one of those honour rolls at Randwick on Saturday.
The South African expat rides two of the three Group 1 favourites in Libran ($4.80 Metropolitan) and Alizee ($2.70 Flight).
And he’s hoping to spoil the party for some leading Everest contenders in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes on Ball Of Muscle ($9).
Schofield said Libran should get conditions to suit in the Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) after his easy second-up win at Randwick on September 16.
“He hit the line strongly, he obviously stays well and likes fast ground so hopefully he runs well again,’’ Schofield said.
“He impressed me with that win, when he sprinted he sprinted quickly. A peak performance is what he needs on Saturday.’’
Libran is one of four stayers for Chris Waller in the Metropolitan – along with Who Shot Thebarman, Antonio Giuseppe and Life Less Ordinary – and his second-up win proved he’s back to his best.
The import failed to run a place in five starts in the autumn having emerged as a high class stayer a year earlier winning three straight prior to running second in the 2016 Sydney Cup.
“He struck a lot of wet tracks last prep which he didn’t enjoy at all, hopefully that’s why he showing his best form again,’’ he said.
Schofield is chasing his first Group 1 win for Godolphin on talented filly Alizee in the $500,000 Flight Stakes (1600m).
An Alizee win would also be James Cummings’ maiden Group 1 as Godolphin trainer and Schofield certainly has developed a strong association with the filly.
He’s had three rides on Alizee for two wins a close second and anticipates riding her in similar fashion to her Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) win on September 16.
“She was ridden a tad quieter, hopefully it was the extra distance and being ridden quieter. It was a strong win though, wasn’t it,’’ he said.
“She’s not going to be asked to do it all early on so hopefully she’ll be using her speed when she needs it.’’
While Schofield doesn’t have an Epsom ride – ironically it’s the only Group 1 on the day he has won (Boban in 2013) – he’s bullish about Ball Of Muscle firing in the Group 2 $500,000 Premiere Stakes (1200m).
Ball Of Muscle did all the early work in The Shorts first-up and beat all bar Everest second favourite Redzel.
It was the third year in a row the gelding as finished runner-up in the Group 3 sprint.
“He resumed really well, it’s obviously a tough race again but at that level there’s no easy ones,’’ he said.
“He was pretty fresh and free that day, he ran quick time.
“He just has to come back a peg underneath me for the 1200m. With the run under his belt he should be cherry ripe.’’