Chasing successive wins in the early-season feature, six-time champion jockey Zac Purton believes Stoltz has the quality to successfully contend in the Gr3 National Day Cup Handicap at Sha Tin on Sunday 01 October.
To face six rivals, including dual Gr1 place-getter Sight Success and last start winner Kurpany, Stoltz will bid to post a third consecutive win after closing last season with 1000m victories at Sha Tin and Happy Valley.
“He feels really good, he’s moving well, he’s going good. He’s nice and bright so I’m hoping for a forward run,” Purton said.
“There’s nothing outstanding in the race. We know all of the horses pretty well. Stoltz races well fresh. He’s won at the track and distance, which always helps. One of his attributes is that he gets out, rolls along and likes it when the speed is on during the running of a race. Up the straight, the pressure is on all the way and he can absorb that, handle that and I think he’s in nice shape – it’s a question of whether he’s up to this class, but we’re going to find out.”
Having annexed virtually every major Hong Kong contest, Purton’s career haul of 1,618 wins also features a score in the Gr3 National Day Cup Handicap after victory last season on David Hayes-trained Super Wealthy.
Chris So hopes Super Sunny Sing can accelerate his progress towards loftier targets when last season’s Hong Kong Classic Cup winner contests the Class 2 Beijing Handicap.
“His last run was really good,” So said. “We gave him a break after the BMW Hong Kong Derby last season because it was the right time to give him a break because he had eight starts for four wins for the season and he did a great job. His first run back was a bit short for him over 1400m and he finished strongly. This time, he’s over 1600m and it should be better. The plan was to give him a break, bring him back and put him in a major race this season. So far, he’s a good horse in my stable and I hope he can keep going.”
Andrea Atzeni is optimistic Beauty Crescent can provide him with his first win for Tony Cruz when the pair contests the Class 3 Shanghai Handicap.
“He’s very lightly-raced and his last run was only his third run in Hong Kong. That was a very promising run and he’s an improving horse. On the back of his last run, you would think he would be competitive,” the Italian said. “That last race would have brought him on plenty and hopefully on Sunday he’ll be very competitive.”
The first race at Sha Tin commences at 07h00. Don’t forget about your Hollywoodbets Punters’ Challenge entry!