On a new Hi after second Class 3 win

So Hi Class (Shafrizal Saleh) sneaks up on the rails to land the spoils in Race 11.

By Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club

From Class 4 level carving out a decent niche in mile races, So Hi Class has suddenly turned into a Singapore Gold Cup prospect following his back-to-back wins in Class 3 company.

Originally based in Malaysia, the Irish-bred five-year-old boasted five Class 4 wins over his pet 1600m trip (including one in Kuala Lumpur), but did not quite pass muster when tested at a higher echelon by trainer Michael Clements.

The first omen the Dark Angel five-year-old had turned the corner surfaced at his first race this prep when he overcame a chequered run to still run a smack-up third to stablemate Spirit Of Big Bang in a Class 3 mile race on April 10

He duly proved it was no flash in the pan with a win in an identical race one month later, before doubling the dose when stretched to the 1800m of Saturday’s $70,000 Class 3 race.

It’s not often a horse already pigeonholed as honest but no superstar can give connections ideas about loftier targets, but So Hi Class ($30) could be one example following his slashing win taking the shortcuts home along the fence under Shafrizal Saleh’s hard riding to defeat a gallant Hard Too Think (A’Isisuhairi Kasim) by three-quarter length.

Stablemate Elite Incredible (Oscar Chavez) led and stuck on well for third place another neck away. The winning time was 1min 49.56secs for the 1800m on the Long Course.

“Until recently, he was basically a Class 4 horse, but it was very good to see him win in Class 3, and again today at a higher rating and higher weight. He’s clearly an improving horse,” said Clements.

“I don’t know a lot about Dark Angels, but the owner Fahad (of Al Rashid Stable) told me they get better and stronger with age.

“The 1600m is his best distance, but he showed he can go over some distance now after he won over 1800m.

“He never did well on wet tracks before, but there was a rain-affected track today and he did well. He’s a horse who always tries his hardest, he’s a very genuine horse.

“If he comes in with a light weight, on handicapping terms, a race like the Singapore Gold Cup could suit him. It’s harder for him at the top end of weight-for-age races, so he may well find an option in the Gold Cup.”

The $1 million Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) is the third Leg and only handicap race of the Singapore Triple Crown series and will be run on November 11.

So Hi Class has now recorded five wins and two thirds from 16 starts for prizemoney that has now exceeded the $175,000 mark for the Al Rashid Stable.

After a quiet start to the day, the Singapore champion trainer was ending Saturday’s bumper 12-race meeting with a flourish after Starharmony (Louis-Philippe Beuzelin) had made all in the previous race (see other report).

The training double cements Clements’ first place on the log on 41 winners, maintaining the six-win gap on Mark Walker who also rang up a brace in the two Class 4 events with Sacred Gift (Jerlyn Seow Poh Hui, $20) in the $50,000 Class 4 race over 1100m and Exdream (Wong Chin Chuen, $70) in the last race, the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over 1200m.

Author: iRace