However a combination of bad luck, racing style, barrier misdemeanours and mid-race recalcitrance has seen the son of Shamardal win just once in his past 12 starts.
Pakistan Star, last week (Friday, 20 April), yet again had to trial to the satisfaction of the stewards and ironically Cruz called on the services of Australian jockey, Tommy Berry. Ironic given that Berry has regularly partnered the outstanding Australian sprinter and 2016 Chairman’s Sprint Prize winner Chautauqua, who is currently banned because of his barrier antics.
Berry will be opposed to Pakistan Star, aboard Danburite, on Sunday but believes Cruz’s charge is indeed ready to produce his best: “He was mentally fine when I rode him in the trial. His mood was good. He walked straight into the barriers first go and flew the gates.
“He’s an incredible athlete. One of the nicest horses I’ve ever thrown a leg over. He felt really comfortable in the trial. It seemed like he was travelling easily and yet he was going quite quick. I suspect you’ve just got to let him do his own thing which is very much the same with Chautauqua,” Berry said.
Pakistan Star is often tardy from the starting stalls but, in fact, ‘flew the gates’ in last year’s APQEII Cup and possibly could well have led had that been the desire, but for an early bumping duel with another runner. As it turned out, he was eased to settle midfield before rattling home to be beaten a neck, splitting two high class performers – and two APQEII Cup winners – in Neorealism and Werther.