Cruz hopes Collection can step up
Derek Cruz has booked the services of journeyman jockey Wayne Smith for former superstar Collection, the multiple Group One winner he hopes can reclaim his glittering best in Sunday's Audemars Piguet QE II at Sha Tin.
Smith rode in Hong Kong during the 2003-04 season and since then the Irishman has competed with success in Macau, India and the United Arab Emirates, where he was champion jockey in 2010-11.
'The owners know Wayne pretty well and I'll be giving him a few more rides on the day as well,' Cruz said.
Collection won the 2009 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby for trainer John Moore and added the Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup the following season.
A suspensory ligament injury kept Collection sidelined for more than 12 months and was moved to Cruz earlier this term, the trainer producing him for a first-up seventh in February's Gold Cup.
The now seven-year-old's leg injuries require constant care and limit the work he can do, but despite the hindrances, Cruz said he has Collection down to his winning weight of around 1,110 pounds.
'He is moving really well, and I'm happy with the way he is now with his body weight, ' Cruz said.
'We've got to keep tabs on him all the time and have to be a bit cautious working him. He can over-do it a bit, because he is a horse that tries so hard. But he is far more relaxed these days.'
Andreas Suborics, who won the race in 2001 on Silvano, has gained the QE II ride on Pure Champion, replacing Gerald Mosse. John Moore has stuck with Tim Clark on Irian, with Peter Ho Leung booking Zac Purton on outsider Mr Medici.