Happy Valley’s French-themed night featured the Class 3 Le French May Trophy Handicap (1000m). The dash went to the Tony Cruz-trained three-year-old Hong Kong Bet (125lb), stepping up at his third start since import.
“He was improving – it was a big run on his debut,” Cruz said of the 10/1 shot. “I like this horse; he’s coming on very well.”
That debut seventh was on 7 April, eight months after Hong Kong Bet arrived off a four-race Australian career that included a Listed win.
“He had a setback in the beginning – a fractured splint bone – and that’s why there was a delay with him. We gave him time and everything came back into place,” Cruz revealed.
“He had some decent form in Australia, he’s a decent sprinter, a real 1000-metre type of horse and I think we’ll see him go up the ratings from here.”
Karis Teetan was the man in the plate. The Mauritian believes there is more to come from the Smart Missile gelding.
“It’s a very good win from him because he’s not tough yet, he’s not even ready so the draw today helped us,” he said.
“Tony said to make sure I used him a little bit and I had him out of his comfort zone at the beginning just to get him in a position. Once I took a sit on him I could tell that he was feeling better; when I pulled him out, he had a horse on either side and that helped him focus. I think there’s still a lot of improvement.”
Cruz and Teetan weren’t done yet, though. The pair combined for a double when Brave Legend (132lb) surged wide down the straight to take the concluding Class 3 Arc de Triomphe Champions Handicap (1800m) by a neck from Cinquante Cinq (115lb).