Precious Delights scores for Cruz brothers
By ROBIN PARKE
THE Cruz brothers struck again at Happy Valley last night with strongly supported Precious Delights (3-1 favourite) giving jockey Tony a third winner before he takes an enforced break.
Tony fell foul of the Sha Tin Stewards on Sunday after an ultra-strong ride on Never Say Tired, but made the most of his last chance for three meetings when Precious Delights easily accounted for the opposition in the third event.
Precious Delights had problems last season but was a definite chance on his better form and trainer Derek Cruz certainly had him in tip-top shape.
'When the rain came we thought it would be an extra help as he does like cut in the ground. But he was pretty fit and ready to run a good race whatever the conditions,' said Derek, saddling up his second winner of the season.
Precious Delights handily got the better of lightly-weighted Shaka Zulu (9-1), who finished second, with Glory Of India (7-1) taking third place in the Class Three longer sprint.
One-time top-liner Fortinbras (5-1) was trapped wide but showed little inclination to battle on when they straightened.
The new team of trainer David Hill and jockey John Marshall got their first winner of the season when 9-1 chance Indian Chetak saluted in the fifth event - and both men can probably look forward to a new suit.
Indian Chetak is raced by Sam The Tailor, also known as Manu Melwani, and he won this lowly Class Five short sprint like a horse who will be scoring again this season.
Indian Chetak is a reclassified, three-year-old subscription griffin but he won this quite readily by a length and a half from Speedy Winner (10-1).
Trainer Hill was not on hand to greet the winner as he is in Keeneland, but jockey Marshall said: 'We had done a fair bit of work with him. He is a hard one to judge on his trackwork but he certainly put it in in his race and that's what counts. In the end he won this quite well.' Celestial Marshal (9-2 favourite) is a pensioner in equine terms and was never really a threat at any stage.
Leading Star was ridden by Raymond S. M. Tam in the enforced absence of fellow apprentice Vicki C. W. Choi who was slightly injured in a trackwork mishap yesterday morning. It wasn't a chance ride that meant much to Tam as Leading Star finished last.
Holy Terror (5-1) finished third just a head off second-placed Speedy Winner but he has been an indifferent performer over the years and it might not pay to read too much into the effort.
Aspire (9-1) finished well back but needs longer.
and will have taken benefit from this run.