Cruz has his smart imports ready to strike first up

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 November, 2010, 12:00am

Tony Cruz saddled three horses at yesterday's barrier trial session at Sha Tin and the trainer looks set to unleash his new imports after all three came home winners of their respective 1,000m turf heats.

They all travelled handy to the speed before kicking away under Matthew Chadwick to hit the line ahead of their opposition, with California Choice clocking the quickest time of the morning by completing his hit-out in 59.21 seconds.

California Choice is a well-bred son of Redoute's Choice out of Storminwinter - a third placegetter at her only start in a griffin race at Sha Tin on March 26, 2000.

Ten years later, her three-year-old colt is galloping down the same famous straight and, under the guidance of Cruz, it won't take this fellow long to improve on his import rating of 52.

All Victory was the next quickest winner of the four 1,000m heats, winning by three quarters of a length from Manfred Man Ka-leung's Mega Castle in 59.83.

Back in the field, Brett Prebble's mount Jolly Good Champ travelled nicely under a tight hold and was restrained into sixth position for trainer Francis Lui Kin-wai.

Cruz's final winner, Let's Goal, clocked the third fastest time and the Irish import did just enough to hold out the handy looking type, Paganini's Soul, by a short head on the line.

Let's Goal will begin his career off a rating of 66 after winning a two-year-old auction at Tipperary over 1,491m at his second start in Ireland when named Griffin.

He will no doubt be looking for further as he progresses, but, his on-pace effort to win the trial, suggests he might have the pace to match his opposition over the shorter distances as well.