Tony Cruz joins elite Hong Kong company with Sha Tin success
Tony Cruz has edged higher into Hong Kong’s pantheon of racing immortals by becoming only the third trainer to post 1,000 winners at Sha Tin, joining fellow legends John Moore and John Size in a select club after Circuit Stellar’s success in the Class 2 Belcher Bay (1400m) on Sunday (12 February).
Joining Moore (1,204) and Size (1,104) as the only trainers to reach the 1,000-win mark at Sha Tin, 66-year-old Cruz took his total number of Hong Kong victories to 1,442 – a tally bettered by only Moore (1,735) and Size (1,449).
Zac Purton, who partnered Circuit Stellar to the landmark triumph, described Cruz – a six-time Hong Kong champion jockey and dual Hong Kong champion trainer – as “the biggest personality and the biggest legend in Hong Kong.”
“He’s had an amazing career – he’s a legend of Hong Kong racing, really. He’s home-grown, came through the Hong Kong Jockey Club Apprentices’ School, he was champion jockey in Hong Kong and rode all over the world, for the Queen and the Aga Khan, and won some big races,” Purton said.
“He then turned his hand to training and he’s been equally impressive – he’s won every big race here – and in every season, he’s right up in the top echelon of the trainers. He’s very consistent and he always turns his horses out well. I enjoy riding for him and the best way to sum him up is that he’s the biggest personality and the biggest legend in Hong.. [read more]