Michael Chang Chun-wai continued to lift the bar higher in his career-best season as trouble sprinter Dragon Choice shrugged off a year of problems to collect the opening Class Five, but the trainer was still disappointed with the one that got away.
Dragon Choice (Olivier Doleuze) was having only his second start since June last year, but was well supported before nosing out Young Happy.
"He had foot trouble in July last year, which put him out for four months when he had to rest. Then he came back with a problem in his right front leg and it kept coming back," Chang said.
"Each time, he had to rest and I'd start again and then so would the problem. But finally, he got to the races last month at Happy Valley and he was wide and his run was quite good, but he needs everything to go right and got it today."
Dragon Choice has managed to turn up with one win in each season he has raced, but his trainer is still trying to wring a first victory out of King's Folks.
"He deserves to win one, that's the third time in a row," said a disappointed Chang, but it was similarly named King's Pact (Alex Lai Hoi-wing) who got the photo verdict.
Danny Shum Chap-shing's King's Pact found the post for the first time and gave Shum pause to think about his programming.
"He has some foot problems, and I thought to try him at Happy Valley for a couple of starts where the surface is a bit kinder," Shum said. "But he didn't run well and now I'm thinking maybe he needs this firm ground."