California Spangle - Meydan, Dubai

Fresh off his win in the Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup, California Spangle exploded on the international stage at Meydan in Dubai, stopping the clock in a track record of 1:07.50 to win the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint.

Positioned forwardly by Brenton Avdulla, California Spangle kicked at the 400 metre mark and having put daylight between himself and the field, held off the late challenge of Star Mystery to win by just under a length. In landing his third Group 1 victory, the gelding’s immense talent was again on show. However it also further underlined his versatility, with his previous successes at the top level for trainer Tony Cruz coming over 7f (Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup) and a mile (Hong Kong Mile).

“I got this opportunity and I came with a lot of confidence that we would win this race today,” said Tony Cruz. “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 Group 1 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.”

California Spangle was part of the 2020 generation of breezers at Gaybrook Lodge and was bought by Badgers Bloodstock on behalf of owner Howard Liang Yum Shing. He was bred in Ireland by Michael Enright out of the High Chaparral mare Pearlitas Passion and bought as a yearling by MC Bloodstock for €150,000 at the Goffs Orby Sale.

With that win, California Spangle brought his record to 13 wins for just over £7.3 million in earnings.