Super Freighter to relish long haul

SUPER Freighter can take the final event at Sha Tin tonight to leave battling local handler Peter Tse Yan-sid needing just one more winner at Sunday's last meeting of the season if he is to hit double figures. The Canadian import is just about the best raw material Tse has been supplied with in many seasons. Make no mistake about it, Super Freighter's grass form in Canada fully entitles him to a rating of 90 in Class One. Tse could hardly have complained if this good-looking, well-proportioned four-year-old had been handicapped even higher into Class One. Super Freighter impressed on looks from the day he stepped out on the Sha Tin work tracks and it was a bit of a disappointment to see that he'd been rated 90 in Class One as it is very hard for any import to win in the top grade during their first season. But tonight's last race is by no means as competitive as the usual Classes One and Two contest and has a real end-of-season feel about it.

From his work and trials the original impressions about Super Freighter were underlined. He could run along a bit and he had plenty of gas left whenever he was asked for a solid effort. After doing plenty of work, Tse started him in the mile race won by Heavily Armed at Sha Tin on May 20. Super Freighter was up on the speed for much of the way until losing his position somewhat at the top of the straight before staying on well again to the line on the far rail. He was only beaten 23/4 lengths and kept on to the line in that Classes One and Two race in a manner which suggested he would relish tonight's move to 1,900 metres. He didn't have much room in the closing stages either behind Heavily Armed otherwise he might well have finished a length or so closer. All in all it was a highly satisfactory debut run in the territory and one which suggested that Super Freighter would not be long in winning.

The company he now faces is appreciably easier in an overall sense as underlined by the average rating of this evening's rivals compared to that of those who ran in Heavily Armed's race. Tonight's average rating comes out at 82 which suggests this is much more like a Class Two race than a Class One affair. Compare that to the average rating of 95 in the race that Heavily Armed won. So while Super Freighter is up appreciably in absolute weight to be carried - 17 pounds - he is tackling much easier company. He should also be that much fitter with a run under his belt and he's done plenty of work since, most of his meaningful work with tonight's rider, the talented multiple New Zealand champion Lance O'Sullivan on his back.

Yet again O'Sullivan has impressed during his three-month stint as a Club Jockey. He's a fine rider at all distances, but he does ride particularly well in these staying events. The biggest danger could come from the ageing handicapper, Wonderful World and the bottomweight Icy Bet. The Ivan Allan-trained Wonderful World is another who will revel in the drop in grade. He is much more used to taking on the very best Class One staying handicappers and also has Stanley K. M. Chin taking a handy five pounds from his back. Wonderful World is not the force of old, but as he showed when third to Best One over tonight's course and distance, and second to Time Strong in a race where the average ratings came out at 83, there is plenty of life left in the old dog yet.

He warrants serious quinella respect. Icy Bet has been running highly creditable races over distances short of his best. He will be much better suited by the move to 1,900 metres and the booking of Tony Cruz by trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee is noteworthy. Icy Bet would be an even bigger danger if there was any rain. He grows a leg in the wet. For tierce purposes and a saver quinella, it is probably wise to throw in Equine Supremo, the horse O'Sullivan has discarded in order to ride Super Freighter.

Equine Supremo was a trifle disappointing when fourth to Rambo last Wednesday night as he did look to be exceptionally well handicapped on the form he had shown when in front of subsequent Queen Mother's Cup winner, Cricket Lord, in the Champions and Chater Cup. But he was only beaten half a length by Rambo and did finished clear of the fifth.