Super Wealthy caught the eye with a luckless run earlier this month and trainer David Hayes is buoyant the Epaulette gelding can continue an upward trajectory in this Sunday's (3 April) HKD$4.75 million Group 2 Sprint Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin.
Eyeing a berth in next month's HKD$20 million Group 1 Chairman's Sprint Prize (1200m), Super Wealthy stepped away fairly last time out to settle at the rear before being kept in a pocket only to take a late split and miss by a neck behind Sight Success.
“He didn't get a lot of room, I think the ear muffs (hood) are helping him go to that upper level because he's relaxing in the early part of his races,” Hayes said.
Rated 114 locally in Hong Kong, Super Wealthy claimed his biggest scalp earlier this term in the Group 3 National Day Cup Handicap (1000m) – defying a gallant Sky Field, Lucky Patch and subsequent Group 1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) winner Stronger.
“I think not running in the Hong Kong Sprint, he's like the fresh sprinter on the scene, so hopefully that'll pay dividends across the last few sprints this season,” Hayes outlined.
This weekend's Sprint Cup is effectively next month's Chairman's Sprint Prize – minus Sky Field, Lucky Patch and Courier Wonder – which will be without international presence on Sunday, 24 April, but still Hayes remains wary of the opposition that Hong Kong's fastest will pose across the next month.
“It's the best sprinters assembled in town, so he has to run a personal best every time to be capable of winning,” Hayes said.
Super Wealthy (123lb) – pairing with Karis Teetan – will face Wellington (128lb), Stronger (128lb), Hot King Prawn (123lb), Computer Patch (123lb), Lucky Express (123lb), Sight Success (123lb), Master Eight (123lb) and Kurpany (123lb) on Sunday.
“I'd say that's his Grand Final (Chairman's Sprint Prize) but a race like this on Sunday, that's pretty important to his CV,” Hayes said.
Hayes has five other entrants this weekend, while Star Contact is a reserve for the Class 4 Pollock Handicap (1600m).
While he isn't a regular on the winners list, Ka Ying Star has forged an undeniable reputation as one of Hong Kong's most reliable performers, and this Sunday, the Cityscape gelding is out to add further lustre to his record in the HKD$4.75 million Group 2 Chairman's Trophy (1600m) for trainer Tony Cruz.
“He loves the distance; he'll be going for the 2000 metre race after this. He's very much a one-paced type of horse and he's in good condition and top shape,” Cruz said.
The seven-year-old has placed four times at Group 1 level, including his close-up second to Beauty Generation in the 2020 Group 1 Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m), while two starts ago he was runner-up in the same contest to Wellington.
“I'm very happy with the horse, he's in good health all of the time,” the handler said.
Cruz is enjoying a fine season this year with 43 wins and HKD$81.61 million banked for connections – including six wins through March.
Next month, the 65-year-old handler will set California Spangle for one of this season's most anticipated clashes against Golden Sixty in the HKD$20 million Group 1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) on FWD Champions Day (Sunday, 24 April).