It was a weird old night at Happy Valley with intermittent rain, jockeys not riding horses out, horses losing their minds when they had victory sewn up and, by the end of the night, winners coming down the outside rail.
So it is tough to believe that the meeting will be much use as a form reference heading forward, but one horse that will be winning soon is a horse that last won nearly two years ago in Formula Won.
The Caspar Fownes trainee is well exposed after 36 starts, a winner of just three races since his arrival from England, but the effort of Formula Won to get within half a length of King Of Mongolia on Wednesday night was admirable and suggests that he should be saluting the judge again in no time at all.
With blinkers off, he settled near the tail of the field and was left flat-footed, seemingly going nowhere, when Neil Callan made a bold mid-race move on Amazingly.
But Vincent Ho Chak-yiu switched back to the rail, his only option with a wall of horseflesh facing him, and he sprinted solidly to get within a half-length of the winner.
What makes his win more better is that the rail seemed questionable all night long. There were good performances along the inside, particularly from all-the-way winner Master Viking, but it seemed difficult to make up ground on the inside section of the track.
There are plenty of Class Three races ready for the track specialist at the city circuit, so given his three victories all came at Happy Valley – two at 1,650m and one at 1,800m - there looks no reason to look back to Sha Tin for another win. However, he is first reserve for a race on Monday, so he may be headed back there regardless.
Another poor effort last night would have seen his rating drop down to 66, the mark where he was at when he first won in Hong Kong, but instead it has risen again. Still, given he won off a higher rating in Class Three and also at the bottom of Class Two, he is capable of winning off this mark.
From the same race, Able Deed is trending in the right direction to break his local maiden soon – perhaps very soon now that he is at a mark where Class Four is an option.
Able Deed showed flashes of talent in his first few starts, but he also demonstrated a propensity to overrace and didn’t appear entirely comfortable over shorter trips.
This resulted in Howard Cheng Yue-tin strangling the horse back to the tail of the field in the race won by Dashing King at the horse’s first attempt at the Happy Valley extended mile. The son of Stratum finished 10th, but he was hardly knocked around and it was a good grounding for the future.
On Wednesday night with new rider Karis Teetan aboard, he again went back - although not as far as his previous start - and he seemed to settle far better.
He was forced wide on the turn and was off the bit chasing, similar to Formula Won, after the mid-race move from Callan, but he found the line nicely widest out and is clearly starting to put it all together.
Expect to see the Li family celebrating a win soon while they wait for their Horse of the Year, Able Friend, to return from injury.