The Andy Leung Ting-wah-trained Young Happy, who has shaken off soundness issues, looks to be finding his feet with another positive performance at Happy Valley and is on the verge of breaking through.
Young Happy ended his stint in early June following a left front fetlock chip fracture and a subsequent operation on both front fore fetlocks.
He had three trials before returning on New Year's Day in the bottom grade with a dull effort behind Island Spring over 1,400m after breaking slowly, before improving on his margin of defeat in his next two runs from wide alleys following a move to blinkers from a crossed nose band over the mile and 1,400m.
With his regular rider Richard Fourie in the saddle, Young Happy was sent out a 10-1 sixth choice in betting after drawing another poor alley.
The five-year-old was taken across runners to settle second from the rear about nine lengths off the leader Dynamic Cross, who clocked a snail's pace 28.67 for the first 400m. He got even further back when the tempo increased before the final bend, but responded nicely over the final 100m to go under by a half-length behind O'Reilly Magic, clocking 22.91 for his final split.
He is a son of unproven Danehill stallion Dane Shadow and unraced Spectrum mare Miss Bijou.
Dane Shadow was a winner of the Group Three Ming Dynasty Handicap over 1,400m at Warwick Farm and five-times placed at Group level in Australia.
While Miss Bijou never made it to the races, she is a half-sister to three winners including four-time victor to 1,350m Summa Cum Laude.
Young Happy doesn't have a distinguished pedigree, but is capable of winning off his mark of 28 and needs to be kept safe when next stepping out.