A strange night’s racing at Happy Valley, with jockeys or connections not quite sure which way they wanted to go, and half the races run too fast and the other half at a dawdle.
That makes most of the form misleading as a guide to the future but the greybeard Business As Usual did enough in the second to suggest he isn’t far off getting back into some form.
Sure, he isn’t what you’d call a horse with scope but the nine-year-old has dropped a very long way from his peak form a couple of years ago and has a Class Four in him if he can find one without any special opposition and get a softer lead tempo than Wednesday.
On paper, Business As Usual looked the lone leader but seven-pound claimer Jack Wong Ho-nam on Happy Moments had other ideas and they went strongly through some fast early sectionals. Business As Usual shook off Happy Moments and gave a kick into the straight but ran out of gas at the 200m before he was beaten less than two lengths.
Trainer Derek Cruz had another old timer Thanksgiving lead throughout in the other division of the race after he strolled through the first section almost 1.4 seconds slower – swap their races and it would have been Business As Usual winning, so that’s the kind of scenario he is seeking and he could sneak one at good odds.
In the fourth race, John Size-trained Wisky let down supporters who surprisingly sent him out as a solid second favourite but they will get even soon enough.
A northern hemisphere-bred son of Shamardal, Able Friend’s sire, he really didn’t look a short course horse in his trials and was a slow learner to boot but he improved steadily with experience and he gives the impression that should continue in a classic Size mould.
The race wasn’t run very quickly at all, Wisky was outsprinted by the first three around the turn, who took the first three placings, but applied himself well and looks to have some upside as he steps up in distance and gets more race practice under his belt.