Smart Ball put on an eye-catching debut performance in the Class Three Pokfulam Public Riding School Handicap (1,200m) at Sha Tin and looks to be a nice addition to the David Hall stable.
Smart Ball arrived on a mark of 67 following a win and a fourth from two starts in New Zealand - both with the shadow roll on and on soft going.
He was given a quiet time of things in both his trials with the hood on and was unwanted in the betting at 130-1 from a difficult gate 13.
Smart Ball was allowed to find his feet, but was travelling comfortably throughout. He shifted into the clear six deep at the 200m and got going under hands-and-heels riding to finish fourth - beaten only a half-length for a placing but way behind the promising first-time starter Able Friend.
The three-year-old is a son of Exceed And Excel and Quest For Fame mare Famewin.
Exceed And Excel was twice a Group One winner among seven victories in Australia over 1,100m to 1,400m. His progeny have a long history of thriving in the Hong Kong scene.
Famewin never made it to the winner's circle, but was three times placed and has had good success as the dam of two other winners from four starters.
Famous Dane (by Danewin) was a Listed winner of six races from 1,400m to 2,400m and another route winner Abu Simbel (by Danewin).
Famewin is also related to Australian champion Strawberry Road, who is a sister to the second dam Strawbrette.
Smart Ball has some untapped potential but appears one that will relish up to a mile on fast going when coming into his own next season.