Cruz set to have plenty of fun with Supreme
Tony Cruz put a third winner on the board after Regency Luck showed up with better legs on Sunday at Sha Tin and is ready for more success with debutant Supreme Genki.
In fact, Regency Luck was black booked from the opening meeting in this column, along with another winner from Sunday, Voile Rouge.
Supreme Genki was going to come on for this run after showing progressive lead-up work, including an ordinary trial 16 days ago, and was at 24-1 odds in the market for the Class Four Rutland Handicap (1,200m).
The three-year-old made his run second from the rear after getting squeezed out by Lions' Fortune and Blossom Daily, came out with only Telecom Super Star further out and finished off strongly to grab fifth - 43/4 lengths off the cosy front-running winner Maelstrom. He clocked a final 400m split in 22.74 seconds - nearly a fifth of a second faster than anyone else.
Supreme Genki combines the pedigree of the versatile Mr Prospector stallion Faltaat, the sire of a sensational 27 winners from 32 starters in Hong Kong. His dam has produced a full sister, winning twice over 1,200m in New Zealand; and is a half-sister herself to the 16-time winner Centre Crest up to 1,400m, including a Group One in New Zealand, and the useful sprinter/miler Victory Code (by Faltaat), who won three races and was eight times in the top-five from 16 starts in Hong Kong.
Cruz has had a perfect association with owner Chu Nin-yiu, winning in the past with his three starters Mr Genki, Successful Spirit and Super Genki, and it will be only a matter of time before the New Zealand-bred three-year-old adds to the honour list.
Elsewhere, the Danny Shum Chap-shing-trained Iron Hawk appears to have filled out during the break - tipping the scales 43 pounds heavier - and returned a more acclimatised performer with an eye-catching third as a 36-1 outsider in the Class Four Tat Chee Handicap (1,400m).
It was a much-improved performance on his four runs last season after joining the Shum yard off a rating of 72 for two wins - 1,200m at Salisbury and 1,400m at Epsom, and twice placed from four British starts as Ardour for Richard Hannon as a two-year-old.
Now that the three-year-old has come into his own, owner Cynthia Pong Hong Siu-chiu, who has had plenty of fun with the likes of Conticasta, Cheeky, Inventor, High Mark, Ferro Beau and Gold Field should be ready to add Iron Hawk to that list.
Iron Hawk is no doubt one to follow in this grade over 1,400m or a mile and may be ready for a return to Class Three off a light weight. And according to his bottom-half pedigree, he may be worth specking on the all-weather track as well.