27th May 2018
Price Bloodstock’s Winner’s Way has remained under the radar in Hong Kong and his Group 3 Sha Tin Vase win on Sunday is going to make him hard to place from here on but with nearly $11 million in the bank, maybe that’s not too much of a concern.
The five-year-old has been underrated time and again in his 21 starts for Tony Cruz and perhaps he will keep surprising as his trainer plots a new path for him next season – as a short course sprinter, after he finished best in the 1200m Sha Tin feature.
“He has won a mile at Happy Valley in a lower class but, to me, a mile is too far for him and there aren’t really enough good races for him over 1400m. There’s a Group 3 over 1400m at the end of the season and we’ll run him in that but next season I think we should give him a go at some of our better sprints to give him his opportunity to win a really top race,” Cruz said.
This was the first win at 1200m for Winner’s Way, who managed to overcome his rivals under Zac Purton despite missing the start.
Winner’s Way has won most of his races from the front – although he did come from well back at his Class 3 debut win – so that was a concern for his backers on Sunday but needn’t have been.
“Today, I thought the pace was quite nice through the middle stages,” Purton said. “He was off the bit and chasing, so he wasn’t comfortable where he was, but he was able to pick up at the right time at the top of the straight, they opened up very nicely for me and he sprinted through quickly. When he got to the lead, he switched off and idled, but he’s taken himself to a new level and he’s a very honest horse. I don’t know if he’s quite up to our better ones – he’d need to take another step – but he’s going to keep being competitive in these sorts of races.”