The Brothers Cruz show rolls on with a brace of Sha Tin winners
By ROBIN PARKE
IT was another big day for the brothers Cruz at Sha Tin yesterday with both of them chalking up a double and Tony producing arguably the day's best ride for a last-gasp win in the final event.
That was on Timah (12-1) for long-serving trainer Bruce Hutchison and he had earlier teamed directly with trainer-brother Derek to score yet again down the straight 1,000 metres with Gints To Win.
Derek's other winner came via classy newcomer Special Warning (35-1) who was ridden by claimer Simon H. K. Yim.
Derek was smiling from ear-to-ear as he awaited the return to scale of his 1,000-metre winner Gints To Win.
''He's a freak, that's about all you can say,'' said Derek - talking about the horse, not Tony.
Gints To Win has soared in the ratings since winning for the first time this season down the straight course about three months ago. His last win was recorded 10 days ago at Happy Valley over the minimum trip of 975 metres but he completely dominated topweight Grassland Star (3-1 favourite) in the Class Two, fifth event.
''He just loves that straight course and he has simply enjoyed his racing so much,'' said Derek.
Grassland Star had not been seen since winning, course and distance, back on Derby Day but he was turned out in great shape by Brian Kan Ping-chee who had been expecting another victory.
''I thought he would win but that was the only horse who could beat us. He is very good at this trip,'' said Kan reflectively.
Gints To Win shot clear inside the 200 metres but Grassland Star also burst from the pack to go past weakening Let It Ride (14-1) to try and get on terms with the leader.
But Gints To Win kept responding to Cruz's urgings and Grassland Star's run came to an end just short of the line.
Ever The Best (20-1) finished third ahead of his much more fancied stablemate Super Bomb.
Popular trainer Hutchison was singing the praises of jockey Cruz after Timah, a long-standing inmate of the stable, had squeaked home in the Classes Two and Three, 2,000-metre nightcap.
''That was a perfect ride. The horse just has to be held up for one late run and Tony did it to perfection. Timah has always had the ability but he has that one run and you can't use him up early,'' stressed Hutchison.
And Cruz certainly followed the instructions to the letter.
Those who availed themselves of the 12-1 odds must have been worrying as the field swung for home and Timah was at the tail.
This was a full field of pretty useful stayers and Most Delighted led them into the straight seemingly going quite well. He compounded and then Lucky Clover (6-1) looked the real chance along with Team Valour (7-1) who was battling on.
At this stage Ka Fook was improving well but Cruz was still riding a nerveless waiting race.
Team Valour and Ka Fook both made their runs and the latter, seemingly beaten, came again in the shadows of the post and looked the winner until Timah arrived with a great late rush.
They crossed the line together but Cruz had got the outside runner home in the last stride.
Team Valour finished third ahead of Lucky Clover who ran well and was only just run out of it.