Pakistan Star sparkles in HK
Pakistan Star has become the horse on the lips of Hong Kong's racing fans after going up in grade to score at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Pakistan Star scores in the Tsuen Lok Handicap at Sha Tin under Matthew Chadwick. (Pic: HKJC).
Having impressed with a stunning last-to-first debut win back in July, Pakistan Star produced a carbon-copy performance to maintain his perfect record in the Tsuen Lok Handicap over seven furlongs on Sunday.
Trainer Tony Cruz, in lyrical form post-race, likened the Shamardal gelding to "a catapult – full of power in the finish".
Pakistan Star, five lengths adrift after yet another tardy start, cruised off the home turn and stormed through the final 400m under Matthew Chadwick in 21.44s to post a comfortable length-and-a-quarter victory.
"It's a repeat of his first race," Cruz said. "He's definitely going places. He's a Class 1 horse and these were only Class 3 horses, so I hope he doesn't jump that slowly in the future; jump with the field; stay with the field; if we can have him race midfield we can win the race more easily!"
Cruz was not being drawn on just how good Pakistan Star might be, saying: "As he improves he'll tell us how good he is". But the trainer could not hide his enthusiasm for the Kerm Din-owned gelding, purchased for HK$6 million at the Hong Kong International Sale in March – quirks and all.
"He's a very shy horse but he gets better with experience," Cruz revealed. "He's a stronger and better horse now. He's much fitter than last time; he's definitely improved – characterwise and in terms of bravery.
"I thought he'd definitely be much faster out of the gate than that but he jumped so slowly – he was the last one out and he was slow to muster speed but he came on so strongly at the end. He has stamina and he looks like he already wants 1600 metres, so we'll probably step up in distance next time."
Pakistan Star actually broke a touch more smartly than he had done in Griffin company previously and easily handled the step into Class 3 grade.
"Matthew was so confident about this horse," Cruz said. "He just left him alone and around the bend I could see he was really changing his gears; he was really coming with a bigger explosion than last time – he has that powerful turn-of-foot. Once he straightened to the outside I knew he was going to win and Matthew took it easy, too, he didn't hammer him."
Make your own mind up about Pakistan Star – click here to watch the replay of his latest last-to-first victory on Youtube.
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