If jockey Chad Schofield’s view of promising colt Fearless is right then a Golden Slipper challenger will emerge at Rosehill on Saturday.
There’s no way, at this stage of the season, Schofield will concede the Slipper to the early favourite Storm Boy and is confident Fearless can put his hand up in the Group 3 $250,000 Arrowfield Canonbury Stakes (1100m).
Fearless, trained by Peter and Paul Snowden, ran a closing fourth behind Espionage in the Breeders’ Plate on debut back in September and Schofield can’t wait to unleash him.
“He’s a horse I hold in really high regard,’’ Schofield said.
“He’s a beautiful animal, he has an enormous action on him and he has plenty of ability. He ran really well in the Breeders’, albeit quite raw, but he’s developing all the time.
“Every time I ride him he’s starting to put it all together. His two trials this time have been really good and he’s going to be hard to beat.”
The Pierata colt, $3.70 with TAB on Wednesday, has run down stakeswinning stablemate Bodyguard to win both his trials in January and Schofield said it’s been by design that he’s been asked to win them.
He describes Fearless as “not your typical jump and run speedster” and that will stand him in good stead for the pressure cooker of a race like the Golden Slipper, where he’s a $34 chance with TAB seven weeks out from the $5 million race.
“We’ve tried to put him under a bit of pressure and let him know he’s here to race, and to be educated and mature,’’ he said.
“I think he’s a high class colt. He has a good turn of foot and his racing pattern isn’t just jump and run, it’s more the opposite where he likes to relax.
“He’s an exciting animal and I’m looking forward to him getting back to the races.”
Another offspring of Pierata is Pushpa, Schofield’s ride in the Group 3 $250,000 Widden Stakes (1100m) and the filly gave him a positive impression in his only trial on her back.
The Annabel Neasham-trained filly was able to win at Rosehill last week at her third trial ahead of her debut as the stable eyes back-to-back wins in the race.
“She trialled really well, she’s well educated and ready to run a big race,’’ he said.
“She showed good speed, sat wide and was still able to kick early in the straight and was strong to the line. She’s push button and that will take her a long way.”
Schofield can’t wait for the return of Neasham’s classy filly Learning To Fly in a couple of weeks after her second trial win at Warwick Farm on Tuesday.
Learning To Fly won the Widden Stakes last year at her debut before claiming the Inglis Millennium and the Reisling Stakes but Schofield parted ways with her in the Slipper and an injury out of that race cost her a spring campaign.
“She’s one of the most exciting horses in the country I think,’’ Schofield said.
“I know how good she is, it’s so good to have her back and she’s been feeling incredible in her trials.”
– Racing NSW