Cruz and his team profit from a return to the good old days
It was the past and present models of the 'C team' on show at Sha Tin yesterday as Tony Cruz landed a double on the Chinese New Year support card.
Cruz missed in the Derby Trial with Beauty Flash, but had to settle for linking with former long-time stable rider Felix Coetzee to win with Cristal Magnum, and 'C team Version 2.0' Matthew Chadwick as No More Green scored an extraordinary Class Three victory.
No More Green tossed Chadwick before the start and spent several minutes eluding club officials riderless in the chute along the back of the course but, once caught and passed fit to run, he crossed from gate 14 and gave his rivals a trouncing.
'I was really surprised by those antics before the race because he's such a quiet horse - he's not a youngster, he's a five-year-old,' said Cruz.
'I knew he'd come on a lot for his first run, but I was worried about the draw.'
Chadwick was later forced to stand down from his final two rides after the incident aggravated a previous shoulder injury.
Thirty minutes earlier, Coetzee - back from South Africa on a flying visit - gave a typical copybook display on pit-pony Cristal Magnum to break the gelding's maiden status.
Despite weighing in at 1000 pounds, Cristal Magnum is still heavier than he looks but showed his heart is in the right place.
'I'm taller than this horse,' quipped Cruz. 'I think he's one of the smallest I've ever trained, but I don't care what size they are as along as they can run.'