Racing

Top Knight makes amends

Michael Clements-trained beaten debut favourite overcomes a wide barrier to win handsomely under a good ride by Glen Boss

A trial winner, he was backed down to $12 favouritism first-up on Aug 10 but was unlucky to be "squeezed on either side" and finished fourth.

Punters did not want to let a good one slip away and made Top Knight the joint-$14 favourite with late-money going to Street Party in Race 2 at Kranji yesterday.

Given a confident ride by jockey Glen Boss, Top Knight franked his fast-closing debut fourth with a convincing win in the $85,000 In Fact 2016 Stakes, a Restricted Maiden race over 1,400m on the Short Course A.

The Michael Clements-trained three-year-old by Zoustar probably won the race after he was able to negate his wide alley with a smart jump before securing a run in midfield.

Centenary Diamond (John Powell) and Street Party (Alan Munro) challenged race-leader King Zoustar (Craig Grylls) in the straight, but none could contain the superior finish of Top Knight when he came surging through the pack at the 300m mark.

The Thai-owned brown Australian-bred gelding kept hitting the line very well to go and post a solid one-length win from Street Party for a quinella between the two joint-$14 favourites.

Centenary Diamond peaked on his run to settle for third place, 1¼ lengths away, a nose ahead of King Zoustar.

After saddling Friday night's last winner Imperium, who was incidentally also ridden by Boss, the in-form Clements was picking up where he had left off.

"We bought this horse at the breeze-up sales at the Magic Millions sale in the Gold Coast last year. He's a nice horse," said the Zimbabwean-born trainer, who also saddled Saraab to take Race 7.

"He was unlucky on debut when he got squeezed on either side at the start, and got back further than we wanted. He was not in such a great position, but he made up a lot of ground in the end.

"Today, the wide barrier was a worry, but Glen was able to get him right across early to settle behind the leaders. There wasn't much pace to the race, but he made up ground to win a very nice race."

Raced by Falcon Racing No. 7 Stable, Top Knight picked up a cheque for $3,825 from his debut fourth to Quadcopter in a Restricted Maiden race over 1,200m three weeks ago, but that first success has significantly jacked his winnings up to the $50,000 mark.

With 41 wins on the board, Clements is not losing sight of the leading pair of Shane Baertschiger (43 wins) and Lee Freedman (42 wins). He once led in the trainer's table.

"We targeted to be in the Top 3 this year and we're very happy to have achieved that so far, even if we had a quiet last two months," said Clements.

"But our horses are running well and there is a nice batch of young horses coming up. It's probably the best team of horses I've ever had and we hope to give it a good go in the next couple of months."

HORSE RACING