Jet-setting Cruz hot on Moore's heels as championship heats up
Tony Cruz made the most of his dash from Dubai overnight to be at Sha Tin yesterday and land a treble, and Cruz is hoping cementing his 'beautiful' relationship with owner Simon Kwok Siu-ming will pay big dividends.
Cruz, of course, saddled up Group One winning Beauty Flash in Dubai for the owner of the Sasa beauty and cosmetics store chain.
The chestnut finished eighth in the Duty Free, but for the second time this week, Cruz and jockey Gerald Mosse were able to combine and turn around one of Kwok's lesser lights.
On Wednesday night, Beauty Success broke his maiden status on the all-weather and yesterday it was an overdue win for speedy Eternal Beauty up the straight 1,000m.
Kwok has had his horses trained in a number of yards, but has been getting his best results with Cruz, and that is fine by the trainer, who hopes to crank things up a notch or three. 'I really like training these 'beauty' horses and I'm grateful now that I have most of Mr Kwok's horses,' Cruz said.
'And most importantly, I hope that we can win more big races together in the future, like we have with Beauty Flash. When I was riding, it was always the big races that were the memorable ones - I've had so many minor wins and can't remember them at all. Now I think I am also a big-race trainer and they are the ones that really count.'
But the little wins will count when it comes to the trainers' championship and Cruz has a glint in his eye at the moment that says he is giving himself a chance of a third title, especially after a six-win haul this past week that has him just one behind the pacemaker, John Moore.
After Moore had run away mid-season with a good lead, he now sits on 48 wins to Cruz's 47, with Caspar Fownes also looming ominously on 40 wins.
'I've had a very good week and it helps that Gerald Mosse is in such great form as he is doing plenty of my riding right now with Matthew Chadwick out suspended,' Cruz said.
'My horses do seem to be in good form across the board right now and, what can I say? I hope we can keep it going and I might be able to give John a race for the championship.'
And yesterday's three winners - Class Five galloper Green Glory (Jeff Lloyd) and Eternal Beauty and Tom's Eighth in Class Four - are just the types of horses who win championship titles, picking up their one or two wins a season.
'Green Glory was wide last time and it was a shame that Gerald couldn't get back from Dubai in time to ride him today in the first race because I thought he would win and I don't think he is finished either,' Cruz said. 'He can still win in Class Four.'
With Mosse not permitted to take rides in the first three races, in case his flight was late, Lloyd took over and made no mistake on the favourite.
'His last three runs had all had excuses, he's been caught off the track last time and a mile was too short when Zac Purton rode him. Today was the right race, he just had to overcome the draw,' Lloyd said. 'Tony just said to drop him out and leave him alone early, and obviously the stable is flying.'
Mosse was aboard the other two winners, with Eternal Beauty holding on to win a very narrow photo and Tom's Eight overcoming his barrier issues to score convincingly.
'It was about time he won a race because he has run well a number of times for me and not won. He's in top form and I expect he will be a chance going up to Class Three as well, but what has counted against him is a bad attitude in the starting gates,' Cruz explained.
Flying Tony Cruz is fast catching up to John Moore's (48 wins) lead, which is down to just: 1