Green Century, the top lot at the Piaget International Sale in December, began to repay his massive $3.8 million price tag with a stylish debut win in the opener. The Eddie Lo-trained son of Danehill had drawn gasps of disbelief on his sensational appearance in the sales ring, and he left an equally strong impression on his first racecourse outing as he showed a tremendous turn of foot to defeat the more experienced Classic Master by 1.25 lengths in the 1,200-metre griffin contest. Green Century provided the opening leg of a treble for Douglas Whyte, who extended his championship lead to 10 after further victories on Universal Charger and Northern Gold Ball took his score to 41. The jockey was very impressed by Green Century, saying: 'He was very green and backward, but his class got him through and he did it convincingly. In the straight I had to come out for a run and Classic Master pinched three lengths on me. But by the time I drew level with Classic Master I was already beginning to take things easy. The acceleration he showed in a few strides was amazing and that's the sign of a top horse.' The victory was worth only $400,000, but Green Century's performance promised owner Li Wing Hon that his investment was money well spent and Lo was all smiles after the race. 'I was confident he would win. The only thing that worried me was that he is a staying type and he can be a bit slow to get started, so I told Douglas to get him well warmed up. But we knew he was very good, and he proved it.' On the gelding's price tag, Lo said: 'I looked at him a few times before the sale and I couldn't see anything wrong with him, and then he was very impressive at the breeze-up, so that made up my mind to go for him. I thought we might have to go to $3 million, but we kept going because the owner was so keen to have him.' Whyte got a similar burst of acceleration from Wong Tang-ping's talented but troublesome Northern Gold Ball, who completed the jockey's treble in the ninth race. 'The feeling he gave me in the final furlong is what every jockey wants. It's like when you play golf and you hit the ball in that sweet spot. It just all seems so easy,' Whyte said. The highly strung four-year-old, who has to be mounted in the stalls, was scoring his second win in as many starts after a belated reappearance, and the jockey said: 'Full credit to Wong Tang-ping and his team because this horse has been a bit of a headache. I've had to go to the barriers with him after trackwork to get him used to them, and I'm glad all the hard work has paid off because he's a really nice horse.' Whyte said starter Philip Waldron and the stalls team also deserved a pat on the back for their part in Northern Gold Ball's coming of age. 'Allowing a jockey to mount a horse in the stalls is a great credit to the way racing is run here because it wouldn't have been permitted in a lot of other countries. Without their co-operation, this horse might have had to be retired.' Whyte was also successful in the fourth race on Alex Wong Yu-on's Universal Charger, who recorded his second win in three starts since being moved up to 1,400 metres with a head success over Saintly Partners.