New kids on the block encouraging for Chang
Second-up performer Ultimate Winners lived up to his short quote to provide Michael Chang Chun-wai his only winner, and the stable newcomers Loving Star, Liberty Valance and Giggles Forever put the writing on the wall with encouraging performances on Sunday's card at Sha Tin.
Loving Star arrived off a mark of 66 following a New Zealand career of one all-the-way win over 1,400m at Wingatui on a yielding track from two starts, but moved nicely in two well-covered up trials over the straight 1,000m.
Frenchman Olivier Doleuze allowed him to travel under his own steam, lost a length to settle third from the rear after getting close to heels at the 600m, but was hitting the line with purpose to finish sixth to Wah May Star.
The four-year-old may want beyond 1,400m according to his pedigree and will relish a wet going. He's the first local performer from the sire St Reims - a New Zealand Derby winner over 2,400m and from the stamina-influential strain of Zabeel - mated to the unplaced mare Quest For Speed, who is by another good source of stamina in Spectrum, 2,400m winner of the Group One Champion Stakes in his heyday.
Liberty Valance got out to massive 127 odds in the Class Three Carpenter Handicap (1,200m) for Eddie Lai Wai-ming.
He made his run second from the rear but was responding nicely to get up a stride ahead of Master Gunner for second and a length off winner All Victory.
The four-year-old arrived off a rating of 67 off a debut third and a soft-ground success with side winkers over 1,400m from three New Zealand starts.
Liberty Valance is a son of Golan, an English 2,000 Guineas and King George VI and QE Diamond Stakes, who has a perfect three-for-three record with starters in Hong Kong, including champion miler Beauty Flash.
Giggles Forever was a 800m trial winner from two jump outs in New Zealand and went nicely in two trials for Chang at Sha Tin.
It wasn't a good beginning for Giggles Forever and Doleuze in the Class Four Nga Tsin Wai Handicap (1,200m) as he broke in the air and was ridden to stay in touch but was hitting the line nicely to go down by 5 1/2 lengths sixth behind Perfect Fit.
The four-year-old, who weighs 1,213 pounds, is by the smart One Cool Cat, a top-flight Irish juvenile, mated to the unraced St Covet mare Heart Set, who has produced four winners from 900m to 1,400m, including classy Orpington.