Winnie's Horse is knocking on the door
Tony Cruz is giving John Size a run for his money in the trainers' title and Winnie's Horse can keep the championship rolling at the back end of the season.
The gelding showed up at the Cruz door step following a two-year-old stint as Dispatch in Australia for trainer Peter Snowden following two wins on wet ground and two placings.
Winnie's Horse wasn't beaten further than six lengths in any of his seven prior starts behind some smart types.
He was backed from $46 to jump a $31 favourite in the Class Three Ewo Challenge Trophy at Happy Valley.
Breaking from the 1,200m chute on the good-to-yielding course, Winnie's Horse bumped slightly with Xi Ying Men drawn to his outside in gate eight, was niggled along to hold a position three back and three deep with cover. He turned the final bend with two wider out and, with nearly six lengths to make up on the leader Eastern Promise, he responded nicely to go under by 11/4 lengths to Impeccable.
The three-year-old is a well-bred son of the smart Danehill stallion Commands and Octagonal mare Depeche.
Commands was a four-time winner in Australia at 1,100m and 1,400m, including the STC Missile Stakes (G3), and has also made headlines as a Leading Australian Sire of winners on three occasions. His winning strike rate in Hong Kong reads nearly 80 per cent with the likes of Fulfil A Wish, Yellow Diamond, Royal Delight, Grand Commands and Alice Too.
Depeche never made it to the track, but she is a half-sister to five winners - among them smart Crawl, who is a six-time winner, and 10-times winner Old Man.
Winnie's Horse is an athletically built 1,200-pounder who sports a pedigree that will see him effective up to a mile on both tracks.