Helene Leadingstar (119lb) will attempt to complete a hat-trick of wins when he takes on four rivals in the G3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup Handicap (2400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday, 3 May.
Tony Cruz’s charge has pulled off a smart turn-around recently, having endured 14 runs without success before nailing a breakthrough Hong Kong win over 1800m at the beginning of March. He followed up with a 2000m Class 1 score a month later under this weekend’s pilot, Karis Teetan.
Staying is the five-year-old’s game: the Wanted gelding won the G1 South Australian Derby over 2500m at his final start before import, and a third placing behind the smart pair of Ho Ho Khan and Savvy Six in this race last year suggests he should relish his weekend assignment off a five-point hike in the ratings.
“He’s got a big chance,” Cruz said. “He’s won two races already and I’m very happy with him leading into this. I was really pleased with his barrier trial and I expect him to show us his ability over the mile and a half, he’ll see out the distance easily.”
Cruz has won the race three times as a trainer, notably with champion stayer Exultant in 2018.