The Paul O'Sullivan-trained Sunny Pearl looks ready to score following an eye-catching third in the Class Four Middle Handicap (1,400m) on a rain-dampened Sha Tin course on Sunday.
Sunny Pearl was a raging $17 favourite in his debut 22 days ago over 1,200m, but encountered a three-deep trip without cover from gate 11 behind Holyangelholy.
He was again dealt a blow at the barrier draw (13) on the tight "C+3" course, but was backed down from $70 to start favourite at $34.
The four-year-old, son of Danehill stallion Strada and Bin Ajwaad mare Snapwood, was left racing wide and without cover, was strung up in traffic before straightening, shifted off the heels of Mark Two into the clear at the 320m and was hitting the line with purpose to finish third to early favourite Floral Man. His final split was more than three tenths faster than any other rival.
Sunny Pearl, who is a half-brother to O'Sullivan's stable star New Vision and owned by Kam Shing-kan (who won the 2006 Stewards' Cup with Russian Pearl), should successfully ascent the ratings ladder as a sprinter/miler.