The enigmatic Pakistan Star has been seen at his best in the Group One QEII Cup at Sha Tin, defying his critics with a brilliant victory.
Pakistan Star has at times been banned for pulling himself up in races but showed no signs of his previous behaviour to win Sunday’s race by three lengths under William Buick who replaced an ailing Kerrin McEvoy.
“Today, he’s shown the public his true ability,” trainer Tony Cruz told the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
“There have been so many complications along the way but this horse has proven he’s a Group One horse.”
Buick said he went into the race with an open mind.
“I obviously feel sorry for Kerrin McEvoy. It was his intended ride and I’m just lucky to jump on him,” he said.
“I’m very fortunate that I got the ride and it was a very nice surprise for me when I landed in Hong Kong.
“He’s showed his class today. He was very straightforward through the race, got a beautiful run and the only thing going through my mind was if the split was going to come or not. As soon as it came he was fast to go in there and won very well.
“He’s quite a famous horse for his antics so I was aware of him and I was aware of what he can do.
“I took on board all of the information I knew about the horse and also thought it was quite important to ride him with a fresh mind and just be very positive about the horse.”
Cruz is now looking at all options including Royal Ascot for Pakistan Star whose performance almost overshadowed that of Australian jockey Zac Purton who won the other two Group One races at the meeting.
Purton steered Ivictory to win the Chairman’s Sprint Prize for trainer John Size and and the John Moore-trained Beauty Generation to claim the Champions Mile.