Footstepsinthesand featured in Hong Kong on Wednesday when Irish bred Pure Champion (5h Footstepsinthesand x Castara Beach, by Danehill) took out the January Cup HK Gr 3 at Happy Valley.
Trained by Tony Cruz and ridden by Gerald Mosse, Pure Champion finished off the 1800 metre contest strongly to score by half a length, his overall record now five wins and three seconds from 21 starts.
Pure Champion was a more than handy performer in Europe under the name of Steinbeck before transferring to Hong Kong, winning the Group III Solonoway Stakes at The Curragh and finishing fourth in the Group I Irish Two Thousand Guineas and Newmarket Dewhurst Stakes.
“I expected him to win today. He has always had some issues since he came to Hong Kong, he had quarter cracks and a mucous problem, but he is growing out of all those problems now. He is much better and a lot stronger – he’s a better racehorse now,” said Tony Cruz.
Winning rider Gerald Mosse was full of praise for Pure Champion.
“I know he’s a nice horse and I know I can always rely on him for a good turn of foot. I gave him his chance to kick on and he did it very well,” he said.
Pure Champion is one of 11 stakes-winners by Footstepsinthesand and is from the Danehill mare Castara Beach, a half-sister to Australian Group I winner Water Boatman.