Exultant raced to an authoritative victory in the Group 3 Premier Plate Handicap (1800m) at Sha Tin Racecourse today (Sunday, 24 June), matching obvious aptitude with a willing resolve to gallop a length and a quarter clear of his closest rival.
“It’s never easy to carry top-weight in Group races so that was a good effort,” jockey Zac Purton said of the 1.7 favourite.
The Tony Cruz-trained four-year-old defied a 133lb impost and a wide passage on the final turn to see off his seven rivals in a time of 1m 46.09s, well inside standard. Stablemate Gold Mount (133lb) led the vanquished with a strong closing run, three lengths ahead of the John Size-trained Dinozzo (125lb).
“I felt we had only one horse to beat and that was Gold Mount,” Purton said. “I knew he was always going to be giving me a start so if I got first run on him and kept going I knew I’d be hard to beat. He’s fit, he’s been racing over longer distances and that’s his style.”
Exultant had led home Gold Mount at their previous start, too, when the pair filled the minor placings behind another Cruz galloper, Pakistan Star. That was in the G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup over 2400m, the distance at which the Irish import had won the G3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup Handicap in May.