Rendezvous with Return A Smile
A typically tricky night at the Valley but in among the shocks the Ivan Allan-trained Return A Smile stood out as one to follow.
The New Zealand-bred Desert Sun four-year-old appears to have thrived since moving to the master mentor and that is, admittedly, a pretty big call as his previous trainers had been David Hayes and Tony Cruz.
He really looks to have developed from last season when he seemed to need 1,400 metres at Sha Tin to show his best.
But here he was in last night's sixth event storming into the quinella behind the Gary Ng Ting-keung-trained winner Pure Reality.
This was surely Return A Smile's career best effort in that he's almost certain to do better over farther back at the New Territories' venue.
One thing is clear, Allan has him progressing from race-to-race as on his reappearance he'd caught the eye on the dirt when staying on strongly to be fifth to Art Francais.
Put last night's effort with that and there's a winner waiting to happen. LCW