Supreme Knight ready to live up to his genes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 January, 2011, 12:00am

John Moore unearthed another smart one in Sovereign Falcon while chalking up a double on the Sunday card at Sha Tin and won't be far off a win with Supreme Knight after the horse produced a game display in defeat in the Class Four Hok Yuen Handicap.

The three-year-old failed to make an impression in his first three starts, but came alive earlier this month when adding a combination of side winkers and a shadow roll to an already existing hood and tongue tie, for a three-quarter length third behind smart Gift Is Gift after travelling never better than three deep from gate nine over the 1,200m at Sha Tin. His task wasn't made any easier when drawing the second-widest alley for Darren Beadman on Sunday. He went forward to settle near the speed without cover, rounded the final bend four deep, worked to a brief lead 50m out and was overpowered by the well-fancied favourite Lombardi.

Supreme Knight is a well-bred son of the smart sire Starcraft, a multiple Group One winner of five races, including the Australian Derby (2,400m), Newmarket Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1,600m) and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (1,600m) in track-record time.

With a sound combination of speed and stamina spread throughout a rich pedigree, it is only a matter of time before he greets the judge and recovers the A$350,000 (HK$2.7 million) shelled out at the 2009 Australian Easter Yearling Sale at Newmarket in Sydney.

Youngsters Viva Freedom and Clement Spirit went to the line well in the Ma Tau Wai Handicap and should be making their way into the winner's circle with more experience and maturity under their belt.

The Peter Ho Leung-trained Viva Freedom had a good legion of followers to make him the starting favourite at $52 after opening up at 10-1 odds, while Almond Lee's Clement Spirit was in the market at $84.

Viva Freedom enjoyed a soft run in midfield, steadied when getting onto the heels of Travel Prince at the 650m, was strung up in traffic three deep and ran on well for third behind New Leader and High Luck when a gap opened 200m out.

Viva Freedom boasts a solid pedigree. He's by the Irish Derby, English Derby and double Breeders' Cup Turf winner High Chaparral.

Clement Spirit - who is a subscription griffin - had to do things a lot harder. He made his run at second from the rear, copped a bump by Forest Star at the top of the straight but ran on nicely down the far outside to figure a respectable sixth.

The three-year-old gets his good looks from a mating of the speed influence Flying Spur - a popular sire of 32 winners from 41 starters in Hong Kong - and the Bluebird mare Northwood Lady - a winner at 1,100m and 1,200m.