Course Record-Breaking Tour de Force by California Spangle in Al Quoz Sprint

Mark Smith - Sunday March 31

Brenton Avdulla guided the Tony Cruz-trained California Spangle to a famous win for Hong Kong in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) at Meydan on Dubai World Cup night.

The world is watching (image Grant Courtney)

Always in the first couple, the Irish-bred son of Starspangledbanner kept up a relentless gallop to hold the challenge of Godolphin’s 3-year-old Kodiac filly Star Of Mystery by three-quarters of a length with Diligent Harry the same distance back in third.

California Spangle stopped the clock at 1:07.50.

A €150,000 Goffs Orby purchase for MC Bloodstock from The Castlebridge Consignment, California Spangle advances his record to 13 wins and eight placings from 25 starts. 

Winning trainer Tony Cruz said: “I knew it would happen sooner or later. I got this opportunity and I came with a lot of confidence that we would win this race today.

“The family - the ‘California family’ - is here today. Howard Liang, whose horses usually are named California, passed away recently so I would like to dedicate this win to him. We are over the moon with this, the owner’s wish was always to win these big races. I wish he was here tonight but his whole family is here and we’re going to celebrate together.

“If you look back through his history, California Spangle on his debut, he ran a record time in Hong Kong and he ran a record time at 1200m. I believe when he hits the front, nobody can catch him. 

"I think we’ll go into sprint races back in Hong Kong, that’s the end of April [the G1 Chairman's Sprint Prize]. We’ll take on Lucky Sweynesse. He’s always been a sprinter-miler and I believe he’s more a sprinter than a miler. You have to go for those longer races in Hong Kong earlier in their career, but I think we know where he is best now."

What a night for Hong Kong (image Grant Courtney)

California Spangle is the best of five winners from six to race for the High Chaparral mare Pearlitas Passion, a half-sister to the Group II Hungerford Stakes winner Shakespearian (Shamardal).

Starspangledbanner was back at Coolmore Australia last spring and covered 116 mares at a fee of $33,000.


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