Manfred Man Ka-leung's yard has got off to a slow start but he has some of his youngsters knocking on the door, and China Angel is no exception after a strong second in the Class Four Shenzhen Handicap (1,200m) at Sha Tin.
The lightly raced five-year-old was never far off the finish in four sprints at Sha Tin last season and was an unlucky fourth behind Happy Ceramibo over this course and distance when resuming with Douglas Whyte.
Apprentice Alvin Ng Ka-chun took the reins on Saturday and China Angel was backed from 15-1 to 11-1 from gate 13.
The gelding settled at the rear and 10 lengths off leader Maelstrom, was still eight lengths behind turning for home but responded nicely over the final 200m to run down Maelstrom 20m out for second - two lengths behind winner Danewin Tiger.
China Angel clocked a good 22 seconds for the final 400m, nearly more than three-tenths better than any other runner in the 14-horse field.
He is from unknown stallion Beaufort Scale, a nicely bred son of Storm Cat and maternal half-brother to champion Banshee Breeze, out of useful Raami mare Summer Echo, who was a double winner at 1,500m and 1,745m from 13 starts in Australia and is a half-sister to Listed Australian winners Slipstream (1,400m) and Blazing Aspect (1,000m and 1,200m).
China Angel isn't going to be anything special, but he is progressing with each run and could turn out be a bread-and-butter performer for the stable.