The Group 3 Sha Tin Vase on Sunday was won by progressive Starcraft sprinter Winner’s Way, a $55,000 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale purchase for John Foote Bloodstock from the Kitchwin Hills draft.
Winner’s Way won two of three in starts in Australia in 2016 for Patrick Payne at Sale and Morphettville before transferring to Hong Kong.
Now with Tony Cruz, he has steadily worked through the grades and powered home from back in the field to win this 1200 metre sprint by a length earning his first Black Type success.
“Today, I thought the pace was quite nice through the middle stages,” said winning rider Zac Purton.
“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 there, he switched off and idled, but he’s taken himself to a new level and he’s a very honest horse.”
Winner’s Way has the overall record seven wins and eight placings from 24 starts and there are more wins in store.
“Zac rode a perfect race,” said Tony Cruz.
“He was patient with him and stayed behind, kept him relaxed and then they came with a big run. I’m very happy with the way he is riding, he’s riding like a champion jockey.”
The trainer said that Winner’s Way would likely progress to the G3 Premier Cup Handicap (1400m) on 24 June. In that same race last year, the chestnut was sent out 1.8 favourite but finished runner-up, three and a half lengths behind Thewizardofoz.
“To me, I think a mile is too far for him, so at the end of June there is a 1400 G3 and I think that will be the goal,” Cruz said. “Next season, we’ll give him a go at some of our better sprints.”
Foaled and raised at Kitchwin Hills, Winner’s Way is a half-brother to stakes-winners That’s Good Idea and Kneeling being one of six winners from good producer Sunday Service, a stakes-placed daughter of Sunday Silence from the family of Danehill.
Another daughter of Sunday Service is Come Sunday, the dam of this season’s Group I VRC Victoria Derby winner Ace High.
Sunday Service was bought by Rosemont Stud at the 2013 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale for $150,000 and has a weanling colt by Written Tycoon and is in foal to Snitzel.
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