Trainer Richard Gibson has had a magical hand in turning around some ordinary stocks in the past and Sure Champ is next in the line following a luckless fifth in the Class Four America Handicap (1,200m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
Sure Champ joined the Tony Millard stable off a mark of 70 last season, but never showed anything until dropping to Class Four when fourth to Cheerful Double and a fifth to Istide in his final three starts.
The Irish-bred was moved to the Gibson yard after failing once again in October and was given a steady preparation, including a closing effort in a Valley trial last month.
Gibson made a gear change to a crossed nose band with the blinker with one cowl coming off, but was still unwanted at 52-1 from gate nine.
Sure Champ made his run second from the rear, straightened without room behind Surfer Boy and favourite Cheers Victories, shifted into the clear five deep outside Cheers Victories at the 100m and finished up nicely to end in fifth place behind Tomodachi.
The four-year-old is a son of Irraaj - the sire of the boom youngster Happy Era and Tenby mare Daylight Ahead.
Sure Champ has been able to produce a good burst over the final 400m in past outings and that should be able to get him into the winner's circle off his mark of 45.