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HK NOV 18 - CALIFORNIA MEMORY WARMS UP WITH GUTSY, COME FROM BEHIND WIN IN JOCKEY CLUB CUP

By Hong Kong Jockey Club | Sunday, November 18, 2012

California Memory reminded his rivals that he still wears the crown as he warmed up for a defense of his G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (9 December) title with a gusty last-gasp victory in the G2 LONGINES Jockey Club Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse today.

Drawn widest in Gate 13, the diminutive grey showed the battling qualities and devastating late drive that have made him a favourite with Hong Kong race fans, as he swept from the tail to grasp the spoils in the final stride of the 2000m contest – his first win since last December’s Hong Kong Cup.

“They went a bit hard up front which suited us but we were just running our own race and he finished the race off well enough to win,” said winning rider Matthew Chadwick.

“He’s definitely improved from his last run and hopefully he’ll pull up sound, and we’ll be looking for the big one in December. He’s a small horse but he’s got the biggest heart!”

Trainer Tony Cruz echoed those sentiments after watching his stable star overcome a bump at the 300m mark to overhaul the John Moore-trained Irian on the nod by a short-head.

Moore’s Zaidan was a further short-head back in third as California Memory stopped the clock in a smart 2m 01.51s.

“When he pulled up after his last run he was sound – he wasn’t sore even – so I was very happy about that and I was confident he was coming here with a great chance today.

"So long as he pulls up sound again tomorrow, we’re in for a serious race again on the big day,” said the trainer of the talented six-year-old, who has been plagued by leg troubles.

“We weren’t afraid of Gate 13 either. The race panned out pretty fast, which suited us perfectly so long as Matthew just took his time.

“He came on very strong and giving 5lbs to the field, you can see how big his heart was in the final stages. He just kept digging deep and at the top of the straight he got a little bump too.

“Heading into the big race on December 9, I’m very happy providing he pulls up sound. I think if he’s sound and not sore, he’ll be just as good as he was last year.”

California Memory’s sights are now set firmly on a repeat win in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup over the course and distance at the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races next month.

More articles


Jockey Matthew Chadwick celebrates the win of California Memory
Jockey Matthew Chadwick celebrates the win of California Memory
Producing a strong late charge in a thrilling finish, the Tony Cruz-trained California Memory (red cap, grey horse), ridden by Matthew Chadwick, gets in by the narrowest of margins to win the LONGINES Jockey Club Cup
Producing a strong late charge in a thrilling finish, the Tony Cruz-trained California Memory (red cap, grey horse), ridden by Matthew Chadwick, gets in by the narrowest of margins to win the LONGINES Jockey Club Cup
A head-on view of the final charge to the line

Photos:
Courtesy of Hong Kong Jockey Club
A head-on view of the final charge to the line

Photos:
Courtesy of Hong Kong Jockey Club
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