Yiu's Superior shows he has heart of a Warrior

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 February, 2011, 12:00am

Ricky Yiu Poon-fai had a memorable evening at Happy Valley on Wednesday night with two wins and three placings, and can look forward to future success with Superior Warrior.

The three-year-old turned in a brave effort in defeat in the Class Four Percival Handicap (1,200m) after jumping from gate 12 with Brett Prebble. He was always under the pump and wide on the track entering the first turn, eventually got on the fence 650m out, straightened nearly two lengths in front and was only cut down in the final 10m by Snitzel King and Make It for a half-length third.

He had done well to place second over the straight 1,000m from two outings as a griffin last season and resumed in September with two non-threatening sprint efforts at both courses, before coming alive to fill the frame at his next four Happy Valley runs behind the likes of Turbo King and Flashing Guy.

Yiu gave him a nice blowout in a turf trial 11 days ago over the Sha Tin straight course and he went into the race as the fittest runner. He is still learning, but is heading in the right direction.

Superior Warrior was acquired at the 2009 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale for A$100,000 (HK$790,000) and is a son of the crack sprinter Fastnet Rock, who is quickly establishing a name for himself with the smart trio of Captain Sweet, Sichuan Success and Supreme Win.

The Australian-bred bay gelding is a half-brother to six sprint winners, though a rare one winning up to 2,400m, best of whom has been Royal Sash, a son of Royal Academy who is a winner at 1,200m and 1,400m, including the Group Two Mannerism Stakes at Moonee Valley.

The David Hall-trained China Dragon has been taking time to acclimatise since arriving off a mark of 87 from South Africa, but appears from his last three runs to be turning the corner. He dashed late under Way Leung Ming-wai for sixth behind Supreme Fay Fay, beaten only two lengths in the Class Three Bowrington Handicap (1,200m). With a crack at pure Class Four runners looming, the five-year-old son of Manshood will take a lot of beating.

On an interesting note, China Dragon was a black-type winner of the Group Three Tony Ruffel Stakes over 1,450m at Turffontein in February 2009 and behind him on that day was the now 110-rated Cerise Cherry. How times have changed.