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Cruz��s Beauties primed for Sunday��s G1 Queen��s Silver Jubilee Cup


An open renewal of the HK$10 million G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday (28 February) has attracted 10 high-class entrants, including a talented trio from the Tony Cruz stable.

Beauty Flame, Beauty Only and Multivictory will take on a field that includes the top-rated Gold-Fun, successful in the contest two years ago for trainer Richard Gibson, as well as the exciting and emerging John Size-trained duo, Contentment and Thewizardofoz.

Beauty Flame beat all bar the sensational Able Friend in last year’s edition, the gelding having kicked to the fore with 350m remaining only to be passed by the subsequent Horse of the Year, then at the height of his formidable powers. Cruz’s stalwart gained revenge this past November when victorious in a shock outcome to the G2 Jockey Club Mile - the now sidelined Able Friend was only third and Contentment second.

“It makes all the difference that Able Friend’s out of the way this time, so that leaves the same horses to beat as usual,” said Cruz, who has since seen his charge race respectably without making the frame in both the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile and G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m).

The Footstepsinthesand six-year-old looked the part under big-race pilot Zac Purton in a recent 1000m turf barrier trial, in which he showed smart pace and hit the line strongly ahead of the others, including Sunday’s opponents Dundonnell and Multivictory. 

“Beauty Flame is right back to being in the thick of things now,” said Cruz. “He went well in his barrier trial recently and I have him in tip-top shape for this race. Things didn’t all go as planned in the Stewards’ Cup (7th) when he made the running, but this time I’m sure he’ll be better off - I think he’s a better horse at 1400m.”

Beauty Flame has obvious claims heading into the race but Cruz believes his other “Beauty” to be the best of his three.

“Beauty Only was a bit unlucky last time in the Stewards’ Cup,” said the handler, who has won the contest as a trainer previously with Silent Witness (2005), Egyptian Ra (2009) and Beauty Flash (2011). “He was blocked all the way up the straight and ran on for fourth, and this time I think he’s in better shape. Ryan Moore knows him better this time and I think we’ll come wide in the straight.”

Moore was aboard last season’s HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Mile winner for a barrier trial last Friday. The Holy Roman Emperor five-year-old, successful first-up this term in a course and distance Class 1 handicap, ran home easily for third, just behind Contentment in that 1200m all-weather workout.

“I think he’s a real miler and the 1400m will be suitable for him,” said Cruz. “His trial was fine last week and he pulled up well. I think he’s spot on for this race and he’s my best chance.”

Multivictory has four wins at the course and distance, including a career peak triumph in January’s HKG3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup (Handicap). That effort prompted a first tilt at G1 competition in the Stewards’ Cup last time. Multivictory flopped in last place but mitigating factors have given connections hope that the six-year-old might yet make the grade.

“Multivictory can be forgiven his last run because he had a mucus issue. Craig Williams is coming back in and we’ll give the horse another try at Group 1,” said Cruz.

The entries for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup also include the John Moore-trained trio of Charles The Great, Rewarding Hero and Secret Sham.

A Group 1 feast on Sunday also features the Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m), which has attracted top-class entries, among them Designs On Rome, Blazing Speed, Giant Treasure, Military Attack, Helene Super Star, Helene Happy Star, Dominant, Dan Excel and the exciting up-and-comer Secret Weapon. 

Beauty Only (No. 2) wins the Kwangtung Handicap over 1400m earlier this season.
Photo 1:
Beauty Only (No. 2) wins the Kwangtung Handicap over 1400m earlier this season.



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