Croesus can work his way up the ratings pole
Fitter and healthy Croesus looks ready to get back to winning ways after displaying a solid performance in the Lai Kok Handicap (1,200m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
Croesus showed ability when beating Wah May Star in a thrilling stretch duel to win his only start last season as a griffin in June over the straight 1,000m.
Dealt a rating of 59 near the top of Class Four to begin the new campaign, the compact-sized 1,020-pound galloper had been well-fancied in two Sha Tin outings, but has on each occasion been anchored by big weights, and looking dull in his coat and burly.
The John Size-trained three-year-old showed he had significantly benefited from his first two outings, judging by the way he had been moving in the mornings and with his beautiful appearance.
Croesus still had a back-breaking impost of 133 pounds this time. Douglas Whyte hustled Croesus after jumping mid-pack to lead along the rails after 100m through an opening 400m in a pedestrian 24.33 seconds, punched through the next quarter a shade quicker in 23.62 seconds while hounded to his outside by Diamond Rainbow, opened up nearly a length advantage at the 300m and fought on doggedly before being swamped in the shadows of the post by Make It - finishing up a neck third over 1,200m in a final time of 1.11.28 seconds on the good track.
The New Zealand-bred is by the effective Last Tycoon stallion Towkay, who has fathered 22 winners from 28 starters in Hong Kong over a good variety of distances at both courses; mated to the Oregon mare Sonia Blade, a Kiwi winner of three races at 1,400m and 1,600m and a Group Three third at a mile.
It's hard for Croesus to win off a big weight, but he has certainly held his own in his three outings. Size is only going to have him sharper for his next outing whether it be another top-weight contest in Class Four or a light weight assignment in Class Three, but either way, he will take plenty of beating.
With more racing and maturity, Croesus should be able to work his way up the ratings ladder to be competitive at the bottom of Class Two and be effective at 1,800m or under at both courses. He has a bottom half of a pedigree that should allow him to swim through wet surfaces as well.