A bittersweet winner for Cruz
TONY Cruz gained a winner in yesterday's opening griffin event but he lamented he may well have lost another.
The multiple champion jockey was full of praise for his former riding colleague turned trainer, Tony P. H. Chan, after he had scored on Daiquiri.
But Cruz had been doing the work on promising runner-up Shining Winner and after completing a 11/2 length victory, he said: ''You win one and you lose one. I gave up the ride on Shining Winner as I thought Daiquiri was really ready to run a big race whereas the other one, though a nice griffin, was making his debut.
''Now it looks as if I might have lost the ride completely.'' It was Johnny Marshall who came in for the mount on Shining Winner.
Cruz added that Chan's decision to reach for the blinkers for Daiquiri made a big difference.
''They really made him concentrate on the job,'' he explained.
The other feature of the race was the flop of the odds-on Camelot who was representing the powerful Ivan Allan-Basil Marcus combination.
Backed down to 2-1 on, despite meeting Daiquiri on some eight pounds worse terms than weight-for-age, the two-year-old Camelot carried $9 million in win and place money plus a further $11.9 million in the main quinella with Daiquiri.
He disputed the lead with Daiquiri until shortly after straightening but from 300 metres out he was never going to win, eventually being pipped for the tierce spot by Got It Made.
''At this stage I've got no excuses or explanations,'' said Marcus.
''I was happy with the way he travelled. We were going as well as Daiquiri and he was relaxed in front but he just didn't pick up.''