Riding rivals: Chad Schofield with his father Glyn Schofield will both ride in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup. Photo: Chris HopkinsSpring racing: what you need to know
Somewhere, out the back of Flemington and away from the 100,000 sets of eyes locked on the track on Tuesday, Tiffany Schofield will be listening to a radio. She reckons it might even be in a toilet under a grandstand. It is still better than watching live, she reasons.
“I don’t watch the races,” she said. “I actually prefer to listen. Even the other day when Chad had a fall [in the Moonee Valley Cup] I wasn’t watching, I was walking the dogs listening on the phone. I haven’t been watching for a while.”
How about making an exception when her husband Glyn and son Chad become the first father and son to ride in a Melbourne Cup since 1968?
“I will [go to the track], but I will walk to the back and take a moment for myself,” she said.
That the pair have Melbourne Cup rides is quite incredible in itself.
Chad had a long-standing booking on Green Moon, which went belly up when Lloyd Williams withdrew the 2012 champion, before eventually hopping on Mr O’Ceirin. Glyn had been circling rides for weeks, but was only confirmed on OTI Racing’s Au Revoir late on Saturday afternoon.
“When Chad lost the ride on Green Moon on Saturday morning he immediately started trying to get under his father’s neck and get the ride on Au Revoir,” joked the Schofields’ manager Mark Van Triet, who also looks after Damien Oliver.
“They’re a very competitive group, but fortunately Glyn held the ride and Chad picked up another one. I think they go by, ‘I don’t like dad beating me’ or ‘I don’t like my son beating me’. It’s competitive in a good way … in a healthy way.”
That Glyn and Chad are on a pair of Melbourne Cup longshots almost seems irrelevant. The fact they have arrived at Australia’s biggest race day is a feat in itself. Injuries, falls and suspensions have plagued both this year.
Add to that the sudden death of Nathan Berry, married to Glyn’s daughter Whitney only three months earlier, and it is a year they would probably like to close the book on.
But the first Tuesday in November will be a cause for celebration in the household.
“You could say we’ve ridden in some big races over the carnival together, but I think the Cup is going to hold something different and be really special,” Glyn said.
“Nostalgia or sentiment shouldn’t get in the way and I’m sure there will be a time where we’ll look back at it [with great pride]. It’s a great race and great to be a part of it and to have my son there makes it a little more special.”
Chad, who two years ago as a teenage apprentice was close to riding alongside his dad in the Durban July, the biggest race in the Schofields’ native South Africa, added: “It’s special. Obviously we’re not on the most fancied of runners, but we’re in the race and we’ve got a chance.
“We’re both in it and even though we’ve both drawn a bit awkwardly, hopefully we can get a nice enough spot from the barrier and just enjoy the experience.”
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