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Tony Cruz eyes Royal Ascot for Pakistan Star

29 Apr 2018

Trainer to consider Queen Ann Stakes andPrince of Wales's Stakes for QEII Cup winner.

Pakistan Star could be heading for Royal Ascot after his big win in Hong Kong. Picture: Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Pakistan Star could feature in the QIPCO British Champion Series this summer after winning the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday.

Tony Cruz’s mercurial performer, ridden by William Buick after intended rider Kerrin McEvoy was signed off with an ear problem, powered home after tracking the leaders.

Buick had discussed at length the idiosyncrasies in Pakistan Star’s make up that had caused him to pull himself up and show reluctance to race in Hong Kong on occasions.

He explained: “Tony went through his previous races with me. He’s infamous for his antics and what he can decide to do, but to be honest he never gave me any indication of that.

“It’s very unfortunate for Kerrin and lucky for me and I felt it was important to ride him with a fresh mind. He felt beautiful, just like a world-class mile-and-a-quarter horse, and in fairness he was competing against several multiple Group One winners. Tony said he’s not a horse you can bully and to treat him with kid gloves.”

Cruz was so pleased with the way Pakistan Star picked up to take a narrowing gap between rivals when making his run that he will consider a shot at the Prince of Wales’s Stakes or Queen Anne Stakes in June.
Both those Group 1 races fall under the umbrella of the Champions Series.

“He should have won it last year when there was no pace and today showed his true ability,” Cruz said.

“There’s only one race left for him here which is the Champions and Chater Cup, so I will speak to the owner and maybe take him to Royal Ascot.”