He’s been called mercurial, obstinate, recalcitrant, and a whole barrage of insults more, but Pakistan Star’s latest erratic display could just be a manifestation of a high horse I.Q. and an ability to remember.
“I thought I’d got him over all of this but the horse has a good memory. He’s like a good dog, he’s too clever,” said trainer Tony Cruz at Sha Tin this morning, Tuesday, 13 November.
Cruz is preparing the two-time G1 winner for Sunday’s (18 November) BOCHK Jockey Club Cup. The 2000m contest will come two weeks after Pakistan Star’s latest start in the G3 Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse, in which the gelding thought about hitting the brakes just a furlong or so into the 1800m affair.
Pakistan Star watchers will be as acquainted with the blinkered bay’s brilliance as with his standout prior misdemeanour – a hoof-screeching stop just 200m into the June 2017 G3 Premier Plate Handicap. That contest, like the Ladies’ Purse, was an 1800m race.
“He’s only had two runs at 1800m and we’ve seen what happened so that’s the last time he’ll ever race at that distance here – I won’t take that gamble again – he recognised that same place,” said Cruz, who will look farther afield for opportunities in 2019.
“All of his races at Sha Tin will be a mile or 2000 metres and above. And I’ll be entering him to travel places – Dubai would be on the agenda and Japan, too. I think he might enjoy racing in different environments.
“But he didn’t stop,” the trainer added, “and I don’t think he’ll stop at the 2000 metres on Sunday.”