A 'natural' for the in-form Tony Cruz

NATURAL Heritage steps up to 1,400 metres for the first time this season and the Ivan Allen-trained runner looks the one they all have to beat in the lucky last.

Two of his four runs this campaign were over 1,200 metres at Sha Tin, the others at the Valley over 1,235 and 1,030 metres. He defeated Golden Luck, a winner of his last two starts, by half-a-length over 1,200 metres on his first Sha Tin start of the season and followed that by running second to Champman River over the same trip. Although the seven-year-old has yet to win over today's trip, he did run an encouraging second to Innovation in a very fast time over course and distance last season.

With Innovation doing most of his racing in Class One these days, it's an interesting pointer to his chances in this affair. Fresh from riding a winning treble last Wednesday evening and still in a hungry mood for winners, Tony Cruz will partner Ivan Allen's charge and you can bet he will give his mount every chance in his quest for the jockeys' championship.

Redcap will probably vie for favouritism with Cruz's mount and looks the main danger.

Ridden by Nigel Tiley the five-year-old has been primed to run a bold race and although I would have preferred him over 1,200 metres he looks well handicapped in this field, and like Natural Heritage has also run closely over course and distance behind the useful Innovation.