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Exultant set for the HK Jockey Club Cup

Steve Bennett in News 15 Nov 2019
  • Exultant set to take on the Jockey's Club Cup
Exultant

Trainer Tony Cruz is convinced that Exultant can stamp his authority as being Hong Kong’s best up and coming stayer as he takes on a class field in Sunday’s Group Two Jockey Club Cup (2000m).

The Teofilo gelding hasn’t missed a top-three finish since last year’s Jockey Club Cup where he beat all but Eagle Way to the line in the 2000m event.

Six starts later, he has collected first prize on four occasions, including the Group One HK Gold Cup (2000m) and Group One Chater Cup (2400m) where he beat home Rise High and Dark Dream, two of his rivals on Sunday.

The Jockey Club Cup is the key lead-up event to his primary target, the Group One Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m) which will be run on December 8 which carries a purse of HK$20 million.

But Cruz is adamant that his six-year-old is not in Sunday’s race ‘just for the run’, he’s there to win it.

“Exultant’s ready for the trial race, he’s in good condition, he’s tuned up for it; Zac Purton knows him so well and he’s got a very good chance to win,” he said. 

He will, however, be facing his hardest task to date with a crack field set to test him over the 2000 metre journey.

Casper Fownes has a pair of class gallopers who will be all out to make life hard for Exultant with Southern Legend and the much improved Rise High taking their place in the field.



Southern Legend has bragging rights from his last start victory where he beat home Exultant (3rd) in the Group Three Sa Sa Purse (1800m).

Meanwhile, the six-year-old Rise High is by far the most improved galloper to come from the Fownes stable winning his past two events, including his last start triumph over the great Beauty Generation in the Group Two Sha Tin Trophy.


Tony Cruz

Despite the talented line up, Cruz remains confident that Exultant has come back a better horse and will prove hard to beat on Sunday.

“I have a lot of confidence in Exultant.  
“He’s much stronger than last season so I have to be confident that he’ll prove to be a better horse this season.
“I expect him to repeat what he did last season. 
“It’s very competitive this year, the Vase in a few weeks is going to be the toughest test, it always is, but I believe in his ability.”

As there are no races run beyond 2400m at Sha Tin, horses who compete over 2000m to 2400m are all considered stayers.

Exultant was labelled as a champion stayer in 2018 where he beat several world class stayers to the line.

In the Group One Hong Kong Vase, he beat home Lys Gracieux, who won this year’s Group One WS Cox Plate, while the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victor, Waldgeist, finished unplaced, more than four lengths back.

He also beat home the Japanese Group One winning mare, Deirdre, who finished unplaced, more than four lengths behind him in the QEII Cup. 

Sunday’s Group Two event shapes up as something not to be missed.


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Exultant set for the HK Jockey Club Cup

Trainer Tony Cruz is convinced that Exultant can stamp his authority as being Hong Kong’s best up and coming stayer as he takes on a class field in Sunday’s Group Two Jockey Club Cup (2000m).

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