Patience was virtue all round with smart four-year-old Noble Champion as he overcame foot and traffic problems to win his second race in Hong Kong in impressive style. Champion jockey Douglas Whyte had a few anxious moments in the run down the straight as he had to squeeze Alex Wong Yu-on-trained Noble Champion through a tight opening and into the clear. But once the gelding emerged with his challenge the race was over in a few strides and he stamped himself as a promising young horse. Noble Champion had been impressive winning in October at his last run in a race, but had been off the scene since with a hoof problem. 'He had a cracked hoof which got an abscess in it,' Whyte explained. 'They had to rebuild his whole hoof. That's why he's been off the scene for a while.' Whyte said Wong's patience had been vital in returning the son of College Chapel to winning form. 'You have to be patient with things like that and especially with this horse. He's a big horse and he is very heavy. He comes down hard on those feet,' Whyte said. 'If you rush him back to the races before he's ready, you certainly won't get him winning and it could cause him problems, so Alex has done a perfect job. The horse had a trial, this race came along at just the right time, everything happened the right way.' The gelding also benefited from a perfect trip in the race from his inside gate, until those little momentary worries about getting clear. 'I knew if he got out he'd be hard to beat and I just had to be patient,' Whyte said. 'I had a lot of horse under me and usually when they're travelling that well, you find room sooner or later. I think Noble Champion's best is probably still ahead of him. He's only had the five runs here and he's a lovely type.' The win continued the high-percentage strike rate enjoyed by the Whyte-Wong Yu-on combination and took the jockey to the half-century of wins for the season, leading Shane Dye (34) by a wide margin. With another 42 meetings this season, Whyte needs to win races at a rate of slightly better than one a meeting to become the first rider in Hong Kong racing history to reach 100 wins for a season.