Pingwu Spark Steps Up to Group One Company
  Above: Tony Cruz trains Pakistan Star who makes his return after a ban
International Race Fan

Pingwu Spark Steps Up to Group One Company

8.05 Sha Tin, The City Hong Kong Cup

Trainer Tony Cruz brings in two solid contenders in Time Warp and Pakistan Star and although he suggests that Time Warp is the one for today, it is Pakistan Star that could be the one to chance at the prices.

Pakistan Star gained a cult following in Hong Kong with his last to first victory as a juvenile and followed up as a in his debut of the classic season. He played second best to Rapper Dragon in the classic series but followed up with neck second to Neorealism in the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup. He has overcome his slow starts and breaks quickly holding a forward position nowadays and this smaller field of nine will suit him, though he did decide to pull himself up in a 5-runner field last time out. This will be his first race since last June, and with his trainer stating he is a horse for the future you could be tempted to side-step him, but he has turned in some impressive barrier trials recently, winning with ease against proven group one horses so it’s worth chancing him at 8/1 with Paddy Power.

Time Warp is fancied by his trainer and he looks the most likely winner, though there isn’t much between him and Seasons Bloom and Pakistan Star has finished in front of them in their latter meetings last year. Werther has been installed the favourite by the UK bookies, but he has failed to hit the level of form he did last year and he also finished behind Pakistan Star in the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup last year.

Recommended bet
Pakistan Star, 8/1 Paddy Power

8.40 Sha Tin, The Queens Silver Jubilee Cup

Beat The Clock and Fifty Fifty head the market of this 7 furlong contest but it could be worth chancing the huge Pingwu Spark who weighs in for this race at 1331lbs, over 200lbs heavier than the race favourite Beat The Clock at 1128lbs.

Pingwu Spark has won 5 of his 7 starts in handicap company and was beaten just a nose and a short-head in his other two races. He takes a big step up in class to group 1 company but he has form that ties in with many of last year’s classic generation that puts him right up with the best of them.

He is drawn in 10 of 11, which isn’t ideal, but you are getting 11/1 which looks generous.

Recommended bet
Pingwu Spark, 11/1 Racebets