Chad Schofield has got the recall for Singapore Sling’s tilt at the Group 3 Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse Handicap (1800m) at Sha Tin on Sunday, 3 November.
Tony Millard confirmed he has booked the rider for the first time since 21 November last year when he guided the stable’s Khaki to second place at Happy Valley. Schofield was Singapore Sling’s regular partner prior to that and enjoyed his biggest Hong Kong win atop the South African import in the 2018 Hong Kong Classic Cup.
“The horse did great things for me, he won the Classic Cup, was second in the Classic Mile and second in the Derby so I’m very happy to get the chance to be back on him,” Schofield said.
“It’s a very strong race but he’s very capable on his day and I think last time, his first-up run, he had many excuses so I’m hoping he can show us his best.”
Singapore Sling (120lb) faces Hong Kong’s champion stayer Exultant (133lb), as well as top-line performers Southern Legend (127lb), last year’s Ladies’ Purse winner Time Warp (122lb), Eagle Way (124lb) and last season’s BMW Hong Kong Derby hero Furore (113lb).
The six-year-old was never a factor in his first race this term, running home eight lengths last of 11 behind Rise High in the Group 2 Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy (1600m) on 20 October. But Millard, like Schofield, takes the view that that was not his true running.
“He didn’t get a race last time, he was completely boxed in the whole way round so it wasn’t a race, it was just like a gallop. He didn’t have a hard race at all so just write that off,” the handler said.
Singapore Sling showed his best form at a mile last term, his standout effort being a runner-up finish behind Beauty Generation in the Group 1 Champions Mile at the end of April. Millard, though, has no qualms about returning his charge to 1800m for the first time since placing fifth behind a dominant Exultant in last January’s Group 3 Centenary Vase Handicap.
“He won the Hong Kong Classic Cup over 1800 metres so this distance should suit him,” Millard said.
“He’s in good form and I would think he’d be very competitive – there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be. The key is getting him in the right position to get a fair run.”
Schofield and Millard have teamed for a previous Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse success thanks to Nassa in 2017.
Millard has taken the prize four times in all and Nassa’s win completed a hat-trick for the handler, following Top Act in 2015 and Horse Of Fortune in 2016. His first Ladies’ Purse success came in 2009 with Iron Fist.