Cruz Speeds Up Into Top 5

Karis Teetan is okay after fall

Tony Cruz vaulted back into the top five of the 2022/23 Hong Kong trainers’ championship and maintained hopes of a third title when Beauty Charge earned a rise in grade with a stylish win in the Class 3 O’Brien Handicap run over 1200m under Matthew Chadwick at Happy Valley on Wednesday.

Cruz, who was champion trainer in 1999/00 and 2004/05 after a distinguished riding career, secured his 30th win for the current season with Beauty Charge’s success to maintain touch with John Size (37 wins), Frankie Lor (33), Ricky Yiu (31), Danny Shum (30) and Francis Lui (30).

Beauty Charge storms home under Matthew Chadwick

Famed by his association with Hong Kong champion sprinter Silent Witness and several other top-liners including Exultant and Bullish Luck, Cruz holds more modest ambitions for Beauty Charge, a two-year-old winner in Ireland before export to Hong Kong.

“I think he can be competitive in Class 2 and let’s see where he goes from there,” Cruz said after the four-year-old’s bullocking win. “He’s a nice horse but I don’t think he’s a Group horse.”

Chadwick, who is making impressive headway after recovering from an ankle injury, agrees with Cruz’s assessment of the Havana Gold gelding, who carried 132lb to victory after steaming between runners: “I think he’s shown he can be competitive in Class 2, he’s run and won against decent horses, especially last season.

“He’s run well and if he runs to his normal pattern where he just jumps and sits where he is comfortable and is relaxed, then he can just charge home. Unfortunately, today we just followed the wrong horse but there wasn’t much we could do from that barrier – it all ended up well.

“He just has to learn to relax a bit more. I was following the wrong horse (Golden Link) and I couldn’t do anything about it – he just wasn’t taking me into the race and I got held up. I had to stop for a bit and I had to wait and wait, he just wanted to get going and get into the race properly, but I managed to hold him together and I got the gap on the inside – I beat Sugar Sugar to the gap and he sprint through it well.”

Karis Teetan was okay to continue after his fall  (Pic- HKJC)

With the Class 3 Luard Handicap (1650m) abandoned because of safety issues after an incident involving Sight Spirit who came down and dislodged Jockey Karis Teetan at the 1200m chute after the field passed the post for the first time, both required immediate assessment from the Club’s veterinary and medical team, respectively, prompting the decision by Racing Stewards to abandon the race.

Teetan continued with his engagements.

Hong Kong racing continues at Sha Tin on Sunday 26 February with the running of the Gr1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup and the Hong Kong Classic Cup.

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