It isn’t often a horse who is already a Group One winner comes to your team knowing as little about the game as Simply Invincible, but David Hall was at least able to take a positive view of that after the four-year-old’s local breakthrough victory.

The winner of the Group One Levin Classic against his own age in New Zealand as a three-year-old, Simply Invincible (Brett Prebble) carried blinkers for the first time in Hong Kong when he scrambled in yesterday and Hall was unsure how much they had helped but they clearly didn’t hurt.

“For a horse who had already had eight starts in New Zealand and won a good race, he just seems to know so little about it – it’s like he’s learning how to race all over again,” Hall said. “He was racing consistently and I wasn’t unhappy with him but he was getting into trouble and being unlucky and we thought we’d try the blinkers.

“I don’t know if they made a difference – his trial was no better with them than without but I was still happy with it so we put them on, dropped back to 1,400m and he’s won. But you would have to think there is a little improvement for the future just by him getting better at racing.”

Prebble said the issue seemed to be that Simply Invincible was timid in his races.

“Having said that, he was pretty brave taking the gap in the straight because he had Enormous Honour outside him, who is a much bigger horse, and he wasn’t fazed by it until he got through the gap – then he wanted to run away from him,” said Prebble. “He’s only a small horse, which could limit him, but he showed plenty of fight and will run further than 1,400m.”

The win was the highlight for Prebble, with his lowlight a two-day careless riding ban and HK$27,500 fine out of the first race. Olivier Doleuze also fell foul of the stipes with a two-day ban from race three for careless riding.