Cruz vows to take Best Eleven 'all the way to top'
Just over two months ago, it seemed Best Eleven was in desperate need of a spell, but the three-year-old is now on the brink of equalling the record for most wins in a season, trainer Tony Cruz saying he will take the emerging star 'all the way to the top'.
Best Eleven trialled poorly at the start of March and backed up the lethargic effort with a sluggish sixth at Sha Tin two weeks later.
But yesterday the well-bred gelding put on his usual professional display to bring up victory number six for the term, one win short of the record created by Entrapment two seasons ago and equalled by Ambitious Dragon a year later.
Despite the horse hitting a midseason flat spot, and now having had 11 runs in his first season, Cruz said there's no reason he can't push on and claim a part of history. 'It's not over yet, you're going to see a bit more of this horse in the future,' he said.
'Don't write him off, he is not done for the season, he has got another race in him at least. This is a very genuine horse and he has a fantastic character to him, too. I cannot fault the horse and he is so healthy. He is happy and I cannot see why we can't push on.
'He is still improving and I'm happy with this horse, he'll be rated over 100 now, but this is my job, I'm going to carry him up to the top, that's what I do.'
Weichong Marwing, who had earlier won on Me Tsui yu-sak's Keen Marie, rode a 'perfect race' on Best Eleven, according to Cruz.
'Last time I wasn't that disappointed with the run, he drew a bad barrier, and this time he dropped down to alley number one, which was a huge advantage,' Cruz said. 'Weichong just dropped him into the box seat and did the right thing from there.'
Real Supreme (Matthew Chadwick) brought up a double for Cruz overcame gate 13 and fought his way to a narrow Class Two victory at his second start for the trainer, who now has 42 wins for the season.
'He is a nice horse but I have the feeling you'll see more of him next season. I believe he is a potential Group Three horse,' Cruz said.
Real Supreme was clearly headed by Voile Rouge in the closing stages, but the four-year-old punched up on the inside to just hang on, much to the surprise of Chadwick.
'I didn't think I'd got there, because his head came up on the line,' he said.
'The other horse definitely got past me, and then I headed him again, and then mine was half-tiring at the 50m, but he just stuck to his guns and pulled it off.
'He is a very professional horse. He has got obvious ability and now he has shown that he has heart. I think if he draws a better gate next time, he can go close again.
'At his first start for Tony he got beat by Wah May Star, and he is a decent horse.'