David Ferraris didn't have too much to write home about from Sunday's Sha Tin meeting, but outsider Fun Heroes gave the stable something to look forward to when dashing home strongly to come up short in the Class Four Sunset Peak Handicap with a rating band of 40-65 over the 1,400m.
Fun Heroes was having his first start of the season after showing a good turn of foot to collect a 1,400m win and two placings from seven starts last campaign.
Sporting blinkers for the first time, Fun Heroes jumped from a middle gate at surprisingly juicy odds of 34-1 and made his run in midfield and one off the fence behind Double Dragon's pedestrian pace, rounded the final bend five wide with four lengths to make up, before letting let down nicely to overhaul Double Dragon and get within a neck of upset winner Kharu on the line.
The four-year-old is a well bred son of the effective Last Tycoon sire Towkay - who boasts no less than 15 winners in Hong Kong - and distance-winning Grosvenor mare Ashley Downs.
He is also a half-brother to Group One New Zealand Oaks runner-up Can't Keeper Down and from the rich black-type family of Tully Thunder, a SAJC Australasian Oaks winner, Roman Emperor, an Australian Derby winner, and Black Mamba, a Group One winner in the US at 1,800m, which are all immediate relations of his third dam.
Ricky Yiu Poon-fai appears to have solved the recurring tendon problems of Mariachi as the gelding stretched out nicely to come up a luckless second behind favourite Good Boy Boy in the Class Four Ngong Ping Handicap.
The six-year-old, who resumed after a lengthy injury break, jumped nicely and settled in midfield and on the rails under the handling of Olivier Doleuze, stuck to the fence upon straightening, peeled sharply off the heels of Good Boy Boy at the 80m and finished off strongly to come up a neck short.
Mariachi had passed through the local sale's ring for HK$2.3 million in December 2006 and was bred to be something useful with a pedigree combining the champion Montjeu to Star Way mare Prieur Way. He is a half-brother to Saintly Partners, who was an ultra-consistent sprinter in Hong Kong.
Mariachi had shown good scope in his first campaign when chalking up a 1,400m win, two seconds and a fourth from six runs before the leg problems started to hamper his career.
He only had three starts in his second term and went to the sidelines last March after chalking up a second-up third over the 1,800m from four runs.
If he comes out of this race in good shape, Mariachi can continue to regain his investment cost and more for his owners.