TDN Weekend

Pakistan Star Trials Towards QE II

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Pakistan Star | HKJC photo

By Alan Carasso

TDN Rising StarPakistan Star (Ger) (Shamardal), a latest second to Rapper Dragon (Aus) (Street Boss) in the lucrative BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) Mar. 19, tuned up for his next appearance in the Apr. 30 G1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup with a smart six-furlong barrier trial over the Sha Tin all-weather track Tuesday morning.

Trained by Tony Cruz, Pakistan Star has had his fair share of trouble getting away from the gates in his brief career, but jumped alertly and settled in fourth position and in the clear for the opening 800 metres. Steered out wide off the home turn while still being quietly ridden by Matthew Chadwick, the bay showed a quick turn of foot entering the final eighth of a mile and skipped clear to ‘win’ the trial by 2 3/4 lengths with something in reserve in the smart time of 1:09.66 (video). Eroico (Aus) (Starcraft {NZ}), a reliable Class 1 winner on dirt, was second.

“The way he trialled last time and this time, the main difference was his acceleration,” Chadwick told the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Andrew Hawkins. “Before the Derby, I was saying to the boys that I don’t think he can open up in those 21-second sectionals anymore. After that trial–and again, it is 2000m, so it depends how it plays out–but there’s a good chance he will be able to finish off in the low-22s, that’s how he feels.”

Chadwick rode Pakistan Star to wins in his first two career trips to the post, but Silvestre de Sousa, who was in the irons for all three legs of the 4-year-old series, is set to fly in from England for the QE II.

 

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