California Spangle, Beauty Joy weather query for G2 Chairman’s Trophy

Leo Schlink

04/04/2023 13:04

California Spangle seeks a 10th win.
California Spangle seeks a 10th win.

Bidding for a fourth G2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) victory at Sha Tin on Sunday (9 April), Tony Cruz will cautiously monitor weather conditions as he tackles the HK$5 million feature with California Spangle and Beauty Joy.

As rain swept over Sha Tin yesterday (Monday, 3 April), Cruz is hopeful conditions improve by the weekend, conceding he is unsure how his star pair would cope away from good or fast ground.

“The going is a bit of a question mark for both my horses. I trialled California Spangle on the dirt track when it was rain-affected and he seemed to perform on it but, then again, we don’t know until we run on it.

“Let’s see what the going is going to be. Last weekend, the ground was giving. The times were slow, the track seemed to be running slow. The sting is definitely out of the ground,” Cruz said.

Aiming to add to his G2 Chairman’s Trophy haul following previous victories by Bullish Luck (2005) and Beauty Only (2016 and 2018), Cruz will adopt familiar tactics with G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) winner California Spangle.

“Regardless of the weather and the going, I think he’s going to do the same thing – go to the front and lead the race,” Cruz said.

Runner-up to Lucky Sweynesse in the G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) on 19 March, California Spangle has been entered for the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) and the G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) on 30 April, but Cruz is leaning towards the latter.

“He’ll probably go for the Mile,” he said.

Tony Cruz has 35 wins for the season.
Tony Cruz has 35 wins for the season.

With triple G1-winner Waikuku prominent among the nine entries for the Chairman’s Trophy, Cruz rates California Spangle’s stablemate Beauty Joy as one of the hardest horses to beat.

“I don’t know exactly how Beauty Joy will go on rain-affected ground, but I think he is going to be strong opposition to California Spangle. I’m very happy with his condition,” Cruz said.

John Size has entered Waikuku and Running Glory, Frankie Lor is represented by Money Catcher and Healthy Happy, Danny Shum has nominated Tourbillon Diamond and Caspar Fownes has entered Columbus County.

Cruz has Whizz Kid among the seven HK$5 million G2 Sprint Cup (1200m) entrants this Sunday, headed by Lucky Sweynesse, Wellington, Courier Wonder, Cordyceps Six, Master Eight and Rewarding Together.

“I’ll be happy if he gets a place – you don’t know how the going is going to be, but he needs to run,” Cruz said of the five-time Hong Kong winner, who is yet succeed beyond 1000m.

Hong Kong racing continues at Happy Valley on Thursday (6 April).

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