Cruz's California Heart looks a winner in waiting
Leading trainer Tony Cruz has plenty to look forward to with American import California Heart, who announced himself as a future winner with an impressive trial at Sha Tin yesterday.
The import has a strong Hong Kong connection, being formerly trained by Patrick Biancone and won his only start at Monmouth Park over 1,200 metres on the dirt.
This was his first barrier trial since arriving and it was clearly a positive piece of work with Felix Coetzee giving the son of Elusive Quality a quiet time.
He has had a light preparation and is open to plenty of improvement.
The second trial was won by Sean Woods-trained Rewarding King, who has been catching the eye in a number of impressive gallops.
He looks fit and well and may have even improved a little since winning a turf trial in mid-November.
John Size's Picture Perfect never displayed much potential from three starts last term, but the manner in which he worked home for Douglas Whyte was encouraging.
Size has taken his time and it appears to be doing the trick.
Most eyes were on Size's Hong Kong Vase (2,400 metres) candidate Super Kid in the opening trial, and he came through the work nicely under little pressure from Whyte.
He looks in sparkling order and will no doubt be spot on for his assignment.
In the same heat, Hong Kong representatives Cape Of Good Hope and Figures finished one-two respectively and each are working in an encouraging manner.
The third and final trial of the morning was won by Stoic, who showed plenty of zest with the blinkers applied.
However, the manner in which Ricky Yiu Poon-fie's Zeonic Frontier hit the line was particularly pleasing.
The son of O'Reilly has progressed considerably since an all-weather trial about this time last month, and has shown enough potential to suggest he can prove highly competitive when he steps out for the first time.
Similarly, Dennis Yip Chor-hong's Fat Choy Forever came through this trial with flying colours. Eric Saint-Martin never applied much pressure at all to Fat Choy Forever, going to the line with plenty in reserve.
The progressive son of Desert Style has been a shade unlucky not to have won on his two career starts, but on the evidence of this trial his maiden status won't stay intact for long.
ONES TO NOTE:
California Heart, Zeonic Frontier, Fat Choy Forever.