Progressive Eastern Magnate can take a class rise in his stride and win the final event at Sha Tin for aspiring champion trainer David Hayes. Apart from the obvious ability of Eastern Magnate, the step up in distance to 1,600 metres is virtually guaranteed to be in favour of the son of Last Tycoon who has been impressive to date. Last time Eastern Magnate swamped Real Courage and Go Go with a withering late run over 1,400 metres where he came from midfield to win a Class Four, 1,400-metre race. If the form needed franking, it came on Wednesday when Go Go did the business at Happy Valley for claimer Willy Kan. The manner in which Eastern Magnate won last time stamped him as a horse who would appreciate farther and his breeding suggests likewise so the added distance will surely suit. For a young and progressive horse, as Eastern Magnate clearly is, a Class Three race at this late stage of the season looks well within his capabilities and it will be no surprise to see him rise higher in the rankings next season. On reflection, it can be said that the longer sprint of his previous effort was simply on the short side and we will not see the best of Eastern Magnate until he is over middle distances. Since his last run, Eastern Magnate has been kept ticking over by Hayes and he looks one of the real chances he has to add to his tally before the curtain falls. Ironically, his biggest danger will be the Ivan Allan-trained Starlight Express who unquestionably put his best foot forward last time when coasting home over 1,400 metres. It was a cool, relaxed performance and augured well for a run like this one.