California Spangle (Starspangledbanner) wins the Gr.1 Quoz Sprint at Meydan

California Spangle Wins Group 1 Sprint In Record Time

California Spangle (6g Starspangledbanner – Pearlitas Passion, by High Chaparral) broke the track record when recording back-to-back Group 1 wins in Saturday’s Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan.

Tony Cruz’s stable star impressed last time out with an all-the-way win in the Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup over seven furlongs, and returned to sprint distances in Dubai for the first time in two years. Ridden prominently by Brenton Avdulla, the bay asserted two furlongs from home and was never headed thereafter. He ran on well to beat the favourite by three parts of a length, setting a new track record of 1:07.50.

“I came with a lot of confidence that we would win this race today,” Tony Cruz later revealed. “I believe when he hits the front, nobody can catch him. I think we'll go into sprint races back in Hong Kong.” Crux nominated the Group 1 Chairman's Sprint Prize at the end of April as California Spangle’s next target, while also not ruling out the possibility of travelling to Royal Ascot.

California Spangle is now a three-time Group 1 winner, with the first of those achieved in the Hong Kong Mile for Howard Liang Yum Shing, who passed away last year. The son of Starspangledbanner is now owned by the late owner’s family, with representative Chester Liang saying on Saturday, “The horse means a lot to my family. This was my dad’s favourite horse, so he always means a lot. He is probably looking down on us.”

Saturday marked a 13th career win for California Spangle and took his earnings past £7 million. Bred by Michael Enright, the €150,000 yearling buy was sold privately by Jim McCartan’s Gaybrook Lodge Stud to Badgers Bloodstock to race in Hong Kong.