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Tony Cruz prepares for Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup tilt with Happy Valley success

May 27, 2024 at 3:58:30 AM

Bidding for a remarkable eighth win in the HK$13 million G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (26 May), Tony Cruz laid down a timely marker for this weekend’s feature with Superb Capitalist’s victory at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (22 May).

Bidding for a remarkable eighth win in the HK$13 million G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (26 May), Tony Cruz laid down a timely marker for this weekend’s feature with Superb Capitalist’s victory at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (22 May).

Ridden confidently by Matthew Chadwick, Superb Capitalist slotted his fourth course and distance victory with success in the Class 2 Wiltshire Handicap (1200m) to provide Cruz with his 45th win of the season and momentum for the final Group 1 of the Hong Kong season.

Preparing to saddle La City Blanche and Five G Patch in the G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup, Cruz said: “This horse is very consistent and he likes this track.
I’m going to bring him back here again for another race.”

With five wins from 16 starts, the Capitalist four-year-old earned a PPG Bonus of HK$1 million as well as HK$1.59 million in prizemoney.

Dennis Yip, who will start Massive Sovereign in the staying feature at the weekend, also figured prominently tonight with Lean Master’s victory.

Searching for his first Group 1, Yip has already forged new territory this season with Massive Sovereign’s stunning BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) triumph on 24 March and he was delighted with Lean Master’s effort to lead throughout under Harry Bentley to win the first section of the Class 4 Hereford Handicap (1200m), the gelding’s first course and distance victory of the campaign.

“The horse is in very good form and everything was good for him tonight. He’s a front runner and it was difficult to catch up from behind,” Yip said of the bay, who sped straight to the front from barrier one.

“He had the speed, good form and he keeps improving. He’s from Europe and he’s only a four-year-old so I think he can keep improving and go up to Class 3.”


Midori Glory scores for Ricky Yiu.

Midori Glory made a successful debut for Ricky Yiu, clinching the Class 3 Renfrew Handicap (1000m) for Matthew Poon. The Shooting To Win three-year-old won twice in Australia – at Goulburn and Taree – for Greg Hickman before export to Hong Kong and collected a PP Bonus of HK$1.5 million with tonight’s triumph as well as HK$1.04 million in prizemoney.

“The draw helped him first time here, but I didn’t worry about the sharp turns because in the morning he can cope with everything,” Yiu said. “He’s acclimatised really well and Shooting To Win is a good sire for Hong Kong. The owner bought him as a yearling.

“Eventually he will step up to 1200m, but I think 1000m is good at the moment. Whether it’s here or Sha Tin it doesn’t matter.”

Cody Mo notched his 15th win of the campaign with Romantic Laos’ tenacious performance to land the Class 3 Selkirk Handicap (1650m) for Derek Leung after Arthur’s Kingdom struck at his 26th start in Hong Kong to claim the Chester Handicap (2200m) for Me Tsui under Karis Teetan.

Now seven, the Camelot gelding was runner-up as a two-year-old in the 2019 G1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud (2000m) when trained by Aidan O’Brien. Until tonight, the gelding had finished in the top-three only once in Hong Kong.

Teetan made it a double with Forever Glorious’ tough win in the Class 4 St George’s Challenge Cup Handicap (1650m) as Francis Lui moved to 57 wins for the term, only two shy of Pierre Ng (59) with 14 meetings left in the season.

Michael Chang took his season tally of wins to 14 with three-year-old New Power’s success under Keith Yeung in third section of the Class 4 Hereford Handicap (1200m) before Danny Shum-trained Satirical Fan controlled the tempo from the outset and fought courageously to land the Class 4 Lancashire Handicap (1650m) to provide Ellis Wong his 20th victory of the season.

Shum completed a brace when The Perfect Match snatched a short-head victory over Telecom Speed in the second section of the Class 4 Hereford Handicap (1200m) under Hugh Bowman.

“He had natural pace which is a good help here and he’s only lightly-raced so there’s certainly plenty of upside to him,” Bowman said of the Complacent three-year-old. “He showed plenty of courage.”

Hong Kong racing continues at Sha Tin on Sunday (26 May) with the running of the HK$13 million G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m).

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