Champion jockey Douglas Whyte believes a career-worst performance could yet be the making of Glorious Days after the potential star's all-at-sea effort in Sunday's Yasuda Kinen.
The John Size-trained four-year-old never looked comfortable during his ninth start and made no impact in his first overseas Group One race.
Whyte said an upshot of the unbalanced display could be improvement for a horse he said was not only talented, but intelligent enough to take something away from the disappointing 14th.
'We have got something to work with,' was the positive post-race spin from Whyte, adding that a lack of physical injury or over-exertion was a sign the problems were mental.
'He pulled up and I said to John 'he looks like he hasn't had a run'. He stood there and pricked his ears and he wouldn't have blown out a candle,' Whyte said.
'If he'd pulled up and there was any question that he didn't enjoy it or if he was feeling something, I would have been a bit concerned. But he certainly pulled up with no negatives.
'From that point of view he is going to digest it all and he is going to come back next year and just ping the gates and do what he is supposed to be doing. At the moment he is just raw.'
Drawing gate 14, chasing an extremely fast pace and competing left-handed for the first time since his New Zealand debut were all cited by Whyte as possible reasons for the uncharacteristic display.
'If he doesn't know where he is and doesn't have his bearings, then he will obviously look after himself and not quite put in,' he said.
'He is a very clever horse. You've got to give him the benefit of the doubt. He has a look around at the best of times and to be thrown in the deep end, going the wrong way around in a new environment, and from gate 14, I'd be a bit unsure if I was in his situation, too.'
Glorious Days wasn't the only Hong Kong horse to flop at Fuchu as Lucky Nine's bubble burst with a listless 11th.
Trainer Caspar Fownes was already looking ahead in the minutes after the race and said he will aim to return to Japan later this year, targeting the Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama first-up in late September.
'He'll go for a break now and he will be back for the start of next season. He'll be a fresh horse with a couple of months off. He has done so well here and that will be a great race for him.'
Lucky Nine started this season in Japan with an unlucky second in the Centaur Stakes, before copping terrible interference in the Sprinters Stakes when fifth.
A trip back to the Yasuda Kinen is less likely for Lucky Nine next year, although Fownes maintained his horse does get a mile, despite the gelding peaking on his run in the final 300m on Sunday.
The trainer said scheduling, not race distance, would make the tough contest a less viable option in 12 months. 'It's a tough race for us coming at the end of a long season,' he said. 'We've been tackling all of the big events. He was just tired.'