Peniaphobia a path away from the poorhouse
The Tony Cruz-trained Private Purchase, Peniaphobia took the prize as the horse to follow from Wednesday night at Happy Valley after enduring a tough run at his local debut before finishing third.
In his four starts in the United Kingdom, Peniaphobia showed himself to have plenty of speed, including the gate speed often missing from sprinters in that part of the world, but so essential in this environment and particularly over 1,000m at Happy Valley.
But more than that, he showed himself to have plenty of courage and application at the business end of the race, never more so than in his final win there beating 23 other sprinters after looking to have been headed.
Sprint success in the UK isn't always a pointer to making it here but Peniaphobia's trials indicated he had made the adjustment quickly.
On Wednesday night, it was a wide barrier that ensured he would not make a winning debut in Hong Kong, with Peniaphobia posted in the breeze outside the other leaders, Brilliant Proposal and Gold Edition while Braveness had the cushy trip behind them.
Brilliant Proposal has been in excellent form and was getting 17 pounds from Peniaphobia but held him only by a bare margin for second.
With a kinder run in transit, Peniaphobia will be winning shortly and even over 1,200m, at which he was never tried in the UK.
Caspar Fownes' debutant, Supreme King was a little different as he was previously unraced but he made a good impression, doing everything right before going down to You Are The One by a neck.
He was no-one's idea of the best in the parade yard, still looking above himself and open to improvement but Supreme King did show the good racing manners he had already displayed in his barrier trials, both here and in New Zealand.
He has good tactical speed and, for a brand new horse, Supreme King showed nice character under serious questions from Zac Purton. This wasn't the strongest of Class Four races but those attributes will stand him in good stead anywhere but he is by Elusive City and looks sure to make his presence felt on the all-weather.