Flying Elite was only stepping out for the second time in his career, but showed he is ready to make his mark following an eye-catching performance in the Class Four Lambeth Handicap over the Valley 1,200m on Wednesday night.
The Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained gelding was the second longest priced runner in the 12-horse field at 72-1 with Howard Cheng Yu-tin aboard from gate five.
He jumped alertly before easing back after 200m, was under hands-and-heels ride approaching the final bend, straightened with three wider out, steadied and dipped a few times underneath a wayward Spicy Shrimp at the 200m and then finished up nicely to come home an unlucky fifth behind Highest Acclaim - beaten 2-1/4 lengths.
Flying Elite had made steady progress in his five trials before his debut run on December 22 over 1,400m, but showed little when asked for a response. His latest effort indicated the four-year-old had significantly come on for his first-up run.
He is a son of Sir Tristram stallion Yamanin Vital and Scenic mare Bright Blue and is a half-brother to four winners, including the talented Flying Blue.
Flying Elite is the first of the ageing and stamina influential Yamanin Vital to settle into Hong Kong. Sir Tristram stallion was an honest performer, achieving five wins at 2,000m and 2,400m, four seconds and two third from 15 starts in Japan in the mid-90s and is a half-brother to Hulastrike, a smart sprinter-miler who was successful in the Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas, and the retired Mighty Hugo, a former Hong Kong winner of three races over a mile to 2,200m.
Bright Blue was a triple sprint winner in Australia and third dam Brown Satin was a winner of the Group Two New Zealand Oaks.