Coetzee to take over on Memory
Trainer Tony Cruz said the connections of California Memory are simply looking for a change of luck with new jockey Felix Coetzee in the Singapore Airlines Cup on May 20, and Matthew Chadwick will remain the grey's 'Hong Kong rider'.
Chadwick has ridden California Memory to his two biggest triumphs, both last year - the Citibank Gold Cup and the Hong Kong Cup on International Day - but has finished unplaced on the horse in his only two overseas efforts.
Chadwick admitted he erred when riding too aggressively in Singapore last year when eighth, while in the Dubai Duty Free in March, he was not at fault, joint problems restricting California Memory to a dull 12th.
'The owners aren't abandoning Matthew, the owners still want him to ride the horse in Hong Kong.' Cruz said. 'Matthew has had a couple of opportunities in Singapore and Dubai and the horse didn't perform, so we probably need a change of luck and they're just trying something different with Felix.' Cruz has been buoyed by Hong Kong Jockey Club vets giving his diminutive galloper a clean bill of health after an encouraging run-on fifth in the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup last week, with continued medication of the horse's troublesome joints proving a success.
'His body weight is great, he is in very good shape, but I know his weak points, and that is that his joints can get very sore,' Cruz said. 'The club vet, Ben Mason, is very happy with him, and when Ben is happy with him, I'm very happy too.'
Cruz said the horse will fly out on Sunday and will be joined in Singapore by Thumbs Up, with Xtension's connections to decide on a start later this week.
Punters can catch analysis of this morning's 12 turf and dirt trials from Sha Tin and Saturday's Happy Valley trials on Trials from the Grass, on Cable Channel 64 and Cable HD 204 tonight.