Supreme Class to maintain Redoute's Choice legacy
Promising three-year-old Supreme Class left punters reeling with his defeat as an odds-on favourite last start but the Redoute's Choice colt is expected to make amends when he lines up in today's Cassia Handicap over 1,400 metres at Sha Tin.
The Tony Cruz-trained colt was backed into a $15 favourite last time at Happy Valley on the strength of a brilliant 41/2-length victory 17 days earlier but he lost his chance when missing the start and settling back in the field.
To the credit of Supreme Class, he closed his race off soundly after always chasing to make up his lost ground and the performance to be beaten only two lengths behind Super Prince was full of merit.
There was no sign of a slow getaway at his previous outing and little doubt the long-striding colt is much better suited to the wide, open spaces of Sha Tin.
In a race that doesn't appear likely to be run at a frantic tempo, Felix Coetzee should have Supreme Class right on the speed and he is set to continue the impressive Hong Kong statistics for his sire Redoute's Choice.
Redoute's Choice has only had five of his progeny race in Hong Kong but the statistics are in line with his sire's performance in Australia with Supreme Class, Lucky Unicorn and Disguise all winning, with his other two runners only having had three starts between them.
Redoute's Choice is shaping up as the heir apparent to his late, great sire Danehill, despite the earlier successes of high-class sons such as Flying Spur, Danzero, Desert King and Danehill Dancer.
Members of the first crop of Redoute's Choice are still only four-year-olds, but already the big bay stallion has produced more than 100 individual winners, including 19 individual stakeswinners.
Redoute's Choice won four Group One races from a mere 10 starts in his days as a racehorse and it's clear he's reliably passing on the prodigious ability that enabled him to land the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes at only his second start.
Australian progeny of this emerging super sire include Stratum (Golden Slipper Stakes), Fashions Afield (AJC Sires Produce Stakes), Lotteria (AJC Flight Stakes, Second Cox Plate) and the exciting God's Own, miraculous winner of the Caulfield Guineas last spring and a recent second to Takeover Target - with Cape Of Good Hope third - in the Lightning Stakes (Group One) at Flemington.
Redoute's Choice has also been a massive financial success for Arrowfield Stud and the broodmare owners who have supported him. The horse's stud fee has skyrocketed to A$200,000 ($1.15 million) plus GST, and the 245 yearlings by him to have been sold at auction so far have grossed A$53.4 million.
Supreme Class is expected to start a warm favourite again today given his main rivals - Spinning City, Dr Possi and Pionero - are not likely to reach his heights in the coming year.
Spinning City has not managed a win for over two years but David Hall has the six-year-old racing in great heart and he has been unlucky to run into emerging horses at two of his three runs this time in.
He has finished second to Floral Pegasus and Armada, two horses heading to Class One, with the only disappointment of the campaign being a second-up failure after covering ground from the outside barrier.
Dr Possi takes the rise to Class Three for the first time but the Flying Spur gelding gave the indication he would measure up when scoring a solid victory at Happy Valley on January 11.
He will appreciate the rise to 1,400 metres but will need a bit of luck early to overcome his awkward gate (10). Pionero's form doesn't read too well but the Danehill gelding has been out of luck this season and should be a significant improver back to his preferred 1,400m trip from the prized inside barrier.