Will two new talents measure up to their biggest test or just provide fresh meat for Able Friend to feast on in today's Jockey Club Mile (1,600m)?

That is the question posed as rising stars Packing Pins and Contentment find themselves matched against the might of the Beast from the East, Able Friend (Joao Moreira), who in all likelihood will coast to another dominant victory in today's Group Two.

Still, the tactical versatility and five-pound weight advantage held by Contentment (Nash Rawiller) and Packing Pins (Zac Purton) in the international day lead-up adds a much-needed air of intrigue to a race where Able Friend will start long odds-on favourite and where five of his eight rivals - all but one of whom he has comfortably beaten over the course end distance before - are stablemates.

Under the careful guidance of John Size, Contentment has risen through the grades, winning eight from 11 and his last four on end, his only unplaced runs when stretched beyond 1,600m. The son of Hussonet has won leading or box-seating, and even looped the entire field from last on the turn on debut.

A first-up Group Two win over 1,400m was followed by a 1,600m success at Group Two level last time out, and Contentment's best chance today is to sit handy and kick off a favourably slow tempo.

Packing Pins strikes a similar-enough profile to Contentment - both horses climbed from Class Four after arriving as Private Purchase Griffins. Ricky Yiu Poon-fai's five-year-old has won six of nine and his last five straight and in two wins this term has shown some gate speed to put himself in races.

Drawn two, Packing Pins should box-seat behind Able Friend's perennial pacemaker and whipping boy Beauty Flame, with Contentment likely to find a nice one-off sit.

Moore's Secret Sham could be the fly in the ointment for that trio if they hope to get peace up front, and will drive forward from gate seven to try and find the front.

Whatever obstacles are thrown at him, Able Friend has shown that at Sha Tin he doesn't need many favours anyway, and his ability to unfurl dynamic final sectionals can win him a race from anywhere.

Able Friend has won seven straight on home soil now, a run that stretches back to this race 12 months ago. There's little doubt that his surprise first-up win looked more spectacular to the eye than it was in reality, with fast sectionals by the leaders causing them to stop and allowing Able Friend to steamroll them late. Yet it was still impressive, and there's also the possibility that Able Friend could improve off that. All of that is bad news for his rivals today.