Unlike some recent meetings, there were black bookers littering the card at Sha Tin on Sunday but none moreso than two lightly raced runners from the Fairy King Prawn Handicap down the straight.
General Sherman and High Volatility both produced big trials for something longer than 1,000m, rattling onto the heels of the placegetters just past the line in the Class Two.
Racegoers must have thought connections misread the distance of the race in the programme, as both had shown their best overseas around the mile distance.
The former Italian, General Sherman, looked more suited in a 1,400m race at his local debut but pulled fiercely and produced nothing, so trainer Tony Cruz dropped him back to something faster and shorter to get his mind focused. He was badly outrun most of the race and four lengths off second-last – High Volatility – at the 400m.
The race for first went on without him but General Sherman was really picking up in the last 100m to finish less than four lengths from My Little Friend.
Tried up to 2,200m when fourth in the Derby Italiano, General Sherman was doubtless bought as a Derby hopeful and he looks ready to perform in something soon over 1,400m or 1,600m.
High Volatility might also have been bought as a potential classic horse but for next season as he is just a three-year-old, so Class Two at this stage of his life is tough but he looks up to handling it.
His first two starts here, he had very tough runs over 1,400m at Sha Tin then 1,200m at Happy Valley from wide gates but he did show speed. He was fast enough to stay in reasonable touch on Sunday but struck trouble more than once before he ran on very well late.
As The Barrister in Australia, he won the Fernhill Handicap, a time-honoured Randwick race where juveniles run a mile for the first time in the season and it has unearthed many high grade stayers over the years.
He has a long way to go before his classic prep but certainly looks ready to start paying his way over a suitable trip.