05/11/2017 2:18PM

Hong Kong: Break critical for California Whip in Macwhinnie Cup


California Whip, the Kentucky-bred who starts in Sunday’s $320,948 Macwhinnie Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong, has already been around the world, or at least three continents.

California Whip was sold as a weanling at Keeneland for $250,000 in 2013 and began his career in England in 2015. He won a maiden race at 2 and was third last summer in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot, his final start in England.

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By Giant’s Causeway, California Whip has raced in Hong Kong since December and has one victory in seven starts. He was beaten a nose in a handicap at Sha Tin on April 23, a narrow loss that makes the 4-year-old gelding a contender in Sunday’s handicap at seven furlongs on turf.

Trained by Tony Cruz, California Whip must break well to be a factor. In his last two starts, he has not had a smooth beginning, although he led on April 23 before being caught by Midnight Rattler.

Midnight Rattler is part of Sunday’s field, and is a threat from a stalking position. California Whip and Midnight Rattler carry 119 pounds each, nine less than topweight Horse of Fortune, who finished ninth in the Group Chairman’s Trophy at a mile on April 9.

Winner’s Way, who won a handicap at Happy Valley on April 12, is a threat from the front. The 4-year-old gelding is taking a jump in class in search of his fourth win in nine starts in the Hong Kong season, which began in September. Winner’s Way will carry 127 pounds.