Sergio Garcia meets HKIR stars at Sha Tin ahead of Fanling

Sergio Garcia meets Time Warp at Sha Tin
Sergio Garcia meets Time Warp at Sha Tin

Sergio Garcia went from Ryder Cup to rider Cup at Sha Tin on Wednesday by getting up close to some of the biggest stars of the Hong Kong racing scene.

Sergio samples HKIR horse power ahead of HK Open bid

Sergio Garcia went from Ryder Cup to rider Cup at Sha Tin on Wednesday by getting up close to some of the biggest stars of the Hong Kong racing scene.

The 2017 Masters champion - who overtook Sir Nick Faldo as the highest scoring golfer in Ryder Cup history as Europe beat America in Paris in September - was at Sha Tin racecourse to meet legendary local trainer Tony Cruz and three leading contenders for the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races.

Star golfer Sergio Garcia gets close to LONGINES HKIR stars at Tony Cruz’s stable

The four G1 contests on December 9 are worth a combined £9m in prize money and Garcia took a particular shine to last year’s Hong Kong Cup winner Time Warp during his guided stable tour.

“I’ve never ridden but I do love the beauty of horses and to see an animal with so much muscle and power and also calmness is amazing,” he said.

“My wife Angela was quite a good rider when she was younger,” he added. If she would like to get a racehorse in the future then that’s fine,” he added. “I can certainly see why people love these animals so much now that I’ve been so close to them.”

Cruz keen to do the Time Warp again in Hong Kong Cup

Cruz, a keen 12-handicapper who says he is “playing to ten at the moment,” has followed Garcia since he burst onto the scene as a teenager and is hoping to land another Major of his own when Time Warp bids for back-to-back wins in the HKD $28m LONGINES Hong Kong Cup next month.

“Time Warp finished tired in the Jockey Club Cup on Sunday but that was a crazy race,” he said.

“He was pressured for the lead and the sectional times show they went way too hard. My other horse Pakistan Star chased him up and also lost his momentum and breathing pattern because of the mad pace but neither of them have lost any weight and if Time Warp gets his own way he’ll be tough to run down in the Cup again.”

TIME WARP wins the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup in 2017

The brilliant but quirky Pakistan Star will be joined by stablemate Exultant in the LONGINES Hong Kong Vase next month and Cruz confirmed that jockey plans are now firmly in place for both horses.

“William Buick is now confirmed to ride Pakistan Star in the Vase and Zac (Purton) will be on Exultant,” he said. “We are going to go back to riding a very quiet race on Pakistan Star and hope that he can find that strong finish again.

“Zac Purton will be back on Exultant. I haven’t lost any faith in Pakistan Star, but Exultant is in great form and once he moves up to 2400m in the Vase then he’s going to run a big race, I’m sure.”

Sergio aiming to fly the Spanish flag again at Fanling

Garcia has been in fine form of late, following his Ryder Cup heroics by winning the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, and has a strong Spanish tradition to uphold when he tees off for his second Honma Hong Kong Open appearance at nearby Fanling on Thursday against a field that also includes Tommy Fleetwood and Patrick Reed.

“Miguel (Angel Jiminez) won the Hong Kong Open four times and Jose Maria (Olazabal) has also won it so hopefully we can keep adding to that,” he said.

“It’s been a good end to the season and the aim for the next one is just to try to give myself more and more chances of winning tournaments and Majors.

“The way the Ryder Cup went was unbelievable against a team that people thought would destroy us.

“It’s great to be the record points scorer, and hopefully there are a few more to come, not so much for the record but to help the Europe team as much as possible.”

Related horse racing links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Racing

Check out our daily preview with tips for every race1

Sunday's racing preview

Xpo Universal is Nick Robson' best bet and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

The New One (red and white silks) won 20 races2

Ed Chamberlin: One in a million

Ed Chamberlin reflects on a freezing Saturday at Cheltenham with The New One’s retirement and course specialist Frodon under the spotlight once more.

3

Daily Nap: A good Account

Matt Brocklebank heads to Carlisle on Sunday with a young Donald McCain representative given the confident vote.

Brain Power jumps to victory in the Unibet International Hurdle4

Brain powers to International glory

Nicky Henderson's decision to switch Brain Power back from fences paid off as he claimed victory in the Unibet International Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Willie Mullins5

Easy Game for Mullins at Navan?

Easy Game bids to provide Willie Mullins with a seventh victory in the Navan Novice Hurdle on Sunday.

Most Read Racing

Check out our daily preview with tips for every race1

Sunday's racing preview

Xpo Universal is Nick Robson' best bet and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

The New One (red and white silks) won 20 races2

Ed Chamberlin: One in a million

Ed Chamberlin reflects on a freezing Saturday at Cheltenham with The New One’s retirement and course specialist Frodon under the spotlight once more.

3

Daily Nap: A good Account

Matt Brocklebank heads to Carlisle on Sunday with a young Donald McCain representative given the confident vote.

Brain Power jumps to victory in the Unibet International Hurdle4

Brain powers to International glory

Nicky Henderson's decision to switch Brain Power back from fences paid off as he claimed victory in the Unibet International Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Willie Mullins5

Easy Game for Mullins at Navan?

Easy Game bids to provide Willie Mullins with a seventh victory in the Navan Novice Hurdle on Sunday.

Next Race Off

01:52 Delta Downs
2
(2)
Wise Woman
J: Alfredo Contreras
9
(9)
Byanymeans
J: Devin Magnon
5
(5)
Sweet Shot
J: Filemon Rodriguez
7
(7)
Becca's Diamond
J: Thomas Pompell
4
(4)
Gio Point
J: Gerardo Mora
3
(3)
Outoftheballpark
J: Chris Rosier
1
(1)
Sparkling Red Jet
J: Timothy Decuir
10
(10)
The Thrill Is On
J: Cindy Soto
8
(8)
High Def Ridge
J: Jose Guerrero

Racing Tips

Check out our daily preview with tips for every race

Sunday's racing preview

Xpo Universal is Nick Robson' best bet and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Daily Nap: A good Account

Matt Brocklebank heads to Carlisle on Sunday with a young Donald McCain representative given the confident vote.

Ashley Iveson previews the action on Saturday

Saturday's racing preview

Ashley Iveson makes Guitar Pete his best Saturday bet and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.