Sensational Pakistan Star was hoisted sharply again in the ratings for his first-up win on Sunday and trainer Tony Cruz is pleading with the handicapper not to “crucify” his young star.
Pakistan Star was effectively lifted 16 points for his debut win in griffin class in July and the handicapper added another 14 points to his rating on Monday to take him to a mark of 87.
That’s a bigger two-race rise than even Cruz’s former world champion Silent Witness, who was lifted 28 points under then handicapper Ciaran Kennelly for his first two starts almost fourteen years ago, on his way to winning his first 17 races.
“I think 30 points in two starts is too much. They shouldn’t crucify him so quickly,” said Cruz, who had commented post-race at Sha Tin that he was not getting ahead of himself and considered Pakistan Star a potential Class One rather than Group One horse at this stage – the rating adjustment takes him within sight of Class One already.
“As we’ve seen in his races, Pakistan Star is a slow starter, he is making mistakes in his races and I think it can hold back his development if he is forced up the ratings too fast,” Cruz said.
“He won the race by only a length and a quarter and it wasn’t a very good field so I can’t see how he goes up 14 points for that. I don’t agree with it. For a horse that is still learning to be pushed up too fast and have to face the good horses too soon, it doesn’t help.”
Coincidentally, the other benchmark for a two-race handicap rise in recent times was Taverner seven years ago, trained by David Hall, and he felt Jing Jing Win had been hard done by with a 12-point rise yesterday to 64 for his impressive debut win on Sunday.
“When you look back at Taverner, he beat nothing his first two starts but beat them easily and went up 16 and then 14 points and it wrecked his career,” Hall said.
“He hadn’t beaten a horse of any talent and suddenly he was in Class Two against more professional types and didn’t win another race for eighteen months. Jing Jing Win beat virtually a Class Five horse, Winning Boy. As soon as he posted a big margin, I guess I expected 10 points but 12 seems too much for that shallow race.”
And the 12-point rise might yet prove to be as much as 14 points in reality, as jockey Zac Purton was indicating on social media that he was keen to keep the ride on Jing Jing Win next time.
A 64 rating usually equates to a horse having 117 pounds in Class Three and Purton’s weight limitations mean he would likely need to put up two pounds overweight to ride the horse on 119 pounds.