Beauty Flash can return to glory days, says Cruz
Trainer Tony Cruz concedes Beauty Flash has lost much of his early dash, but believes the former star miler can put the setbacks behind him and challenge with a light weight in a sub-par National Day Cup (1,400m) at Sha Tin on Monday.
The seven-year-old is a four-time Group One winner, with three of those top-flight triumphs delivered during a glittering 2011-12 campaign which included victory in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile.
It was apparent Beauty Flash was struggling with soreness throughout last term as he went unplaced in eight of nine starts - the upshot being a rating that has dropped from a peak of 125 to 106, He will carry only 116 pounds in Monday's race.
"He will be right in this race. He jumps from gate seven which is perfect and he is spot on for this," Cruz said, revealing it wasn't just joint issues holding his horse back last season.
"He had a blood infection, too, and other health problems, plus general wear and tear. I'm very happy with him this season though."
The trainer was buoyed by a desperately needed first-up third in a Class One two weeks ago, before which Beauty Flash weighed in at a portly 1,249-pounds - a career high.
"I was very happy with that run, even though he seems to have lost his early speed," he said. "He is getting on and he is putting on weight very easily. That's the thing with age, but he is in good health and will put on a good show on Monday."
Cruz said straight-track specialist Blaze King had an injury scare this week, ahead of the other feature, the Sha Tin Sprint Trophy (1,000m).
"He got an infection on his right hind fetlock due to a minor cut. He had some inflammation and was a bit lame and sore," Cruz said. "He only missed one day of work and we're very happy with him."