Eye-catching Osmanthus is one for next term
The Caspar Fownes-trained Silver Osmanthus was pounded in the betting and was unlucky not to have gone closer to winning with a sweeping move in the Class Two Hong Tung Handicap (1,200m) at Happy Valley.
The hair-raising effort indicated he is ready to have plenty of fun.
Silver Osmanthus was never disgraced in his first three starts off a big weight in Class Three behind Gold Edition, Simple and Happy Champion.
But with a step up in grade and a light weight, the three-year-old drew a ton of late-market support to half his quote from $260 to $95 for jockey Mark du Plessis.
He was in trouble early on after breaking awkwardly and then taking a good hold after copping a squeeze between Keen Marie and Frederick Engels. He was niggled to tack on at the 800m, was still seven lengths last while cornering in traffic, switched off the heels of Bould Mover and tiring Happy Yeah Yeah into the clear at the 200m and was finishing up strongest of all to finish 1-1/4 lengths to Keen Marie.
The Australian-bred arrived off a mark of 79 after chalking up four wins and two seconds in eight starts as Star Mystery for trainer Allan Denham at Newcastle, Warwick, Randwick and Rosehill.
He is a son of Fomalhaut, Listed winner in France at 1,100m and half-brother to the Group One winners Machiavellian, Exit To Nowhere and Coup De Genie, whose only other starter in Hong Kong is the multiple-placed Beauty King.
His dam, Lacryma Cristi mare, Agathacristi was winless in Australia as a two-year-old. She has also produced another full sibling in Miss Rosalind, a winner at 800m.
Also from his bottom half, the retired Romantic Symphony was a progeny of his third dam and achieved Class Two standing for four wins over 1,000m and 1,800m, while the speedball and seven-time sprint winner in Hong Kong, Debonair, was produced by his fourth dam.
Another who ran an improved race was the Francis Lui Kin-wah-trained China Delight, who finished off well to finish a close three-length eighth to Enabling in race six over 1,650m.
The son of Encosta De Lago showed plenty of zest in the mornings prior this latest outing and it's worth paying to keep him safe after the summer break.