This has been a frustrating season for trainer David Hall and Fast Most Furious joined his long list of unlucky minor placings on Wednesday night but with the promise the lightly raced Irish-bred should soon turn this around.

Fast Most Furious was unlucky earlier in the season at Sha Tin before a hind leg problem in November sidelined him, but Hall produced him ready to go again and only bad luck stopped him getting the result.

The gelding settled in the back half of the field, as usual, on the rails with the eventual winner Smart Boy just ahead of him two wide. Umberto Rispoli took Smart Boy to the outside in the straight where he had an uninterrupted path, while Zac Purton did not have that opportunity.

He had to negotiate his way through the early leaders Dashing Gainer, Extremely Fun and Good Companion, none of whom were going anywhere.

Purton eventually was suspended for making his own path but it was all too late as he dived at Smart Boy.

It was the first finish closer than seventh for Fast Most Furious yet he has shown some good ability despite that formline and will not surprise if he can win more than one race when he does break the ice.

The other black booker from the meeting is Audacity. Low grade stayers can be hard horses to follow, if for no other reason than the scarcity of their opportunities, but there is a lot to like about this guy. When his career is over, we might look back on him like an Ocean Roar or Idyllic Wind as having punched above his talent – unless we rationalise that his talent is toughness.

David Hall ends his 146-start drought as Gracydad prevails at Happy Valley

He raced three wide on Wednesday night but still had the audacity to make a strong bid for victory and be beaten less than a length.

Two runs ago, he was badly checked at the 400m at the Valley and still beaten less than a length in Class Five before winning that grade. His next 2,200m chance is six weeks away in Class Four at Happy Valley but he is well capable of making up for this defeat.