Ka Ying Star shines in Group 3 Lion Rock Trophy
Ka Ying Star maintained Tony Cruz's advance towards the top of the trainers' premiership with an overdue success in the Group 3 Lion Rock Trophy over 1,600m at Sha Tin yesterday.
"I'm going to put the pedal to the metal," said Cruz, after jockrey Chad Schofield rode the Cityscape gelding to push the stable's tally to 52 wins.
That puts the two-time champion trainer five shy of long-time leader Ricky Yiu, who has clocked only one win from the last seven meetings.
Ka Ying Star had classy form this term, including a couple of Group 1 placings, but had not nailed a Pattern race and was without a win of any kind in 13 months.
"The horse has deserved this, he's run some good races in Group 1, but he has hardly any wins on his record, so this is a good way for him to end his season,"said Cruz.
"Everything went his way today. He had to dictate this race and, if he did, I knew he'd be hard to run down.
"Chad rode the perfect race and he clocked 1 (minute) 32.95 (seconds) - that's a decent time, so he's shown his quality."
Ka Ying Star secured the leader's spot and Schofield slowed the tempo in the back straight, before kicking on down the final stretch.
The game five-year-old responded to every urging, despite carrying 129 pounds (58.6kg). He then held off last-start Group 1 FWD Champions Mile winner Southern Legend and Fast Most Furious.
The Caspar Fownes-trained Southern Legend won the $1.5 million Kranji Mile for the last two years.
"Credit to him with the big weight. He was strong to the line," said Schofield.