Trainer Caspar Fownes' Born To Win has taken a few runs to find his legs, but appears from a brave second in the special-conditions Class Four North Point Handicap (1,200m) on Wednesday night to be on the right track.
Despite drawing a proper gate in his first Happy Valley outing with the addition of a tongue tie and some eye-catching workouts, Born To Win remained an outsider at 29-1 odds for his regular rider Vincent Ho Chak-yiu.
The four-year-old was hard ridden to muster for the lead from All Times Lucky, crossed to the rails at the 800m and cornered a length on top from Red Courage and Novel Start to his outside. He shook off a challenge from All Times Lucky at the 200m and was overhauled just inside the 50m by favourite Jazzing Feeling.
The New Zealand-bred, who arrived off a mark of 68 for one win and two placings, isn't going to be anything special, but he is capable of holding his own at this level and possibly off a light weight back in Class Three.
He is a son of the unheralded Redoute's Choice stallion Fast 'N' Famous and King Delamere mare Czardos. Fast 'N' Famous was a multiple sprint winner in Australia, including the Group Three Gilgai Stakes, and his other four local progeny including Can Do, Glory Win, Triumphant Dragon and Island Garden.
Czardos, the now 20-year-old, was a past five-time winner from 1,200m to 2,200m. She has produced three other winning foals from four starters over varying distances - the best of whom has been Danardos, a son of six-time winner Danasinga.