Tony Cruz

Hong Kong Horse of the Year Exultant Retired

Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}--Contrary {Ire}, by Mark of Esteem {Ire}), arguably the best stayer to be based in Hong Kong and the jurisdiction's Horse of the Year in 2019-2020, has been officially retired from racing, according to information on the Hong Kong Jockey Club website. Bred by Belinda Strudwick's Co. Kilkenny-based Ballygallon Stud, Exultant was raced by his breeder as Irishcorrespondent in Europe and was trained by Mick Halford to a third-place effort behind Churchill (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Thunder Snow (Ire) (Helmet {Aus}) in unsuitably soft ground in the...

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California Memory: The Little Horse That Could…And Did

A good horse can come from anywhere, can come in all shapes and sizes. Perhaps no horse in the history of the Hong Kong turf embodies that idea more than the diminutive, but wildly talented California Memory (Highest Honor {Fr}--Kalpita, by Spinning World). Brookdale Farm's Fred Seitz acquired Kalpita privately after she was led out unsold on a bid of 48,000gns at Tattersalls December in 2005 and the mare foaled a grey colt Mar. 2, 2006. Hailing from the female family of champions Bosra Sham (Woodman) and Hector Protector (Woodman),...

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'Sixty' Shines as Jockey Club Day Produces Formful Results

Prepping for his Group 1 debut in the Longines Hong Kong Mile in three weeks' time, Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) confirmed his status as the top horse in Hong Kong with yet another breathtaking victory--his 13th from 14 career runs--in Sunday's G2 Jockey Club Mile at Sha Tin Racecourse. Last year's Classic Series sweeper was simultaneously winning his 10th race on the hop, joining the likes of his contemporary Beauty Generation (NZ), Co-Tack (Aus) and Silent Witness (Aus) to take as many consecutive races. In the day's other main...

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Jockey Club Meeting Draws Hong Kong Heavies
Jockey Club Meeting Draws Hong Kong Heavies

With a few notable exceptions, Sunday's Jockey Club programme at Sha Tin Racecourse has attracted more than two dozen of Hong Kong's top gallopers, each of whom have an eye on the Longines Hong Kong International Races, now just over three weeks away. Reigning Horse of the Year Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) is set to face eight other rivals as he preps for the G1 Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m) in defence of his title in the G2 Jockey Club Cup (2000m). Winner of 11 of his 26 local appearances,...

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Exultant Named Hong Kong Horse of the Year
Exultant Named Hong Kong Horse of the Year

Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) was named 2019/2020 Horse of the Year in Hong Kong Thursday in a virtual ceremony, as stricter social distancing protocols within the context of a third wave of coronavirus in the region put pay to the scheduled live proceedings. Bred by Ballygallon Stud, Exultant won four of his seven trips to the post during the season, calling on all his class and stamina for victories in the G1 FWD Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2000m) and a successful defence of his title in the G1 Standard Chartered...

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'Ex'-clamation Point!
'Ex'-clamation Point!

Like a championship-level pugilist deep into the 12th round of a heavyweight bout, Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) was a spent force entering the final furlong of Sunday's G1 Standard Chartered Champions and Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin. But, calling on the resiliency, determination and toughness that have come to characterise his time in Hong Kong, the 6-year-old willed himself to the wire to win the 12-furlong affair for the second year running. His second Group 1 win of the season--he was exiting a similarly tough victory in the Apr....

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Exultant Looks to 'Cruz' in Champions and Chater Cup
Exultant Looks to 'Cruz' in Champions and Chater Cup

Just two trainers account for the seven runners signed on for Sunday's final Group 1 of the season in Hong Kong, the Standard Chartered Champions and Chater Cup over the metric mile and a half. One of them, the legendary Tony Cruz, sends out the three top-rated runners, including Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}), who--with a successful defence of his title--could earn front-runner status for local Horse of the Year. As strong as even in 2019-2020, the 6-year-old was third when looking for the repeat in the G1 Longines Hong Kong...

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Ballygallon-Bred Exultant Still Delivering in Hong Kong
Ballygallon-Bred Exultant Still Delivering in Hong Kong

Sunday's Standard Chartered Champions and Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin Racecourse is the last of 12 Group 1 events on the annual racing calendar in Hong Kong, one that has been significantly impacted first by social unrest in the region and more recently--and currently--by the COVID-19 pandemic. In many ways, Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) is emblematic of racing in the Special Administrative Region--a racehorse possessed of an iron constitution, showing up with his 'A' game time and again. One that can deliver his best even when the deck is...

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No Foreigners, No Fans, No Problem as FWD Champions Day Arrives

FWD Champions Day at Hong Kong's Sha Tin Racecourse is annually a miniature version of December's Longines Hong Kong International Races, with three Group 1 races offering prize money of HK$63 million (£6.6 million/US$8.1 million) and only a top-level race over 2400 metres missing from the mix. At least some of the buzz about this year's event has been dashed owing to the coronavirus pandemic, which has rendered Champions Day a wholly domestic raceday, but the beat goes on, with the vast majority of the jurisdiction's top gallopers set to...

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Beauty Generation Supreme in QSJC

by Richard Edmunds, courtesy TDNAusNZ Two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year Beauty Generation (NZ) (Road to Rock {Aus}) and his long-time companion Zac Purton regained their rightful place with their eighth Group 1 victory in Sunday's Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup at Sha Tin, his third consecutive victory in the 1400-metre event. From relatively humble beginnings as an NZ$60,000 purchase at the 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale at Karaka, Beauty Generation first rose to prominence as a quality 3-year-old who placed in the G1 Rosehill Guineas and G2...

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Exultant Can Punch Dubai Ticket in Hong Kong Gold Cup
Exultant Can Punch Dubai Ticket in Hong Kong Gold Cup

Champion Hong Kong stayer Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) can earn a long-awaited trip overseas with a strong performance in Sunday's G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin Racecourse, with the US$6-million G1 Dubai Sheema Classic (2410m) on the horizon. Winner of the 2018 G1 Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m), the horse formerly trained by Mick Halford as Irishcorrespondent landed this event, but focused on a domestic campaign that saw him close the season victoriously in the G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m). Third from a...

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