With the challenge of a fresh start, popular trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam can take cold comfort from the fact that there is nowhere to fall and everything to shoot for when September 2 kicks off the racing season. Having seen trainers Bruce Hutchison, Chris Cheung Ting-pong and Wylie Wong Wai-lit despatched at the end of last term under the Jockey Club's firm line on performance, Chapple-Hyam is well aware he is under the hot lights. For a man who arrived in Hong Kong from Britain with an extraordinary record - especially at the blue riband end of town - to be under that kind of examination is an unexpected situation, to say the least. Just six winners in 2000-2001 at a low strike rate followed a dismal partial debutant season in 1999-2000. But Chapple-Hyam doesn't believe that his performance to date is a genuine reflection of his skills. 'Yes, this is a key season for me,' the affable Englishman said. 'I really have to go this year. But this year I will have a chance because I'll have better numbers.' For the first time in Hong Kong, Chapple-Hyam will have sufficient horses under his care to be more competitive. 'My first season was not a season at all really,' he reasoned. 'I came mid-season into a totally new situation and I only had eight horses. It wasn't ideal. You can't perform without the horses. 'I prefer to think of last season as my first year, and I can improve a great deal with the experience of a full year. I started last season with 13 horses, 18 including the griffins.' If Chapple-Hyam was looking for inspiration during the summer, he found some in his visits to stricken jockey David Harrison, who is making a gradual recovery from spinal injuries at the Stoke Mandeville rehabilitation clinic in Buckinghamshire. 'I went to see David a few times and he is improving all the time,' he said. 'After the fall, when we knew the extent of his injuries, I had my reservations about whether David would walk again but now I really believe he will. It's a long process and it's going to take time but I think he's going to make it. 'I was there the first day David stood up. He hadn't stood for two months, so his muscles were weak and he became a little dizzy. He needed some assistance, but it was great to see him stand up and to be able to put some pressure on his legs. Mentally, he is unbelievable. I don't think I could ever be as strong. Abby [Harrison's wife] hasn't left his side for a minute and I really think they are going to get there.' Like most of the trainers, Chapple-Hyam's break wasn't altogether a holiday as he spent much of the time inspecting racehorses, sifting clues to find the hard evidence that will turn his case around in the new Hong Kong term. 'This will be the first time I've had enough horses. By the time all my new horses are here, I'll have over 30 for this season, including griffins,' he said. 'That gives us a better chance.' And he has high hopes for a couple of his British purchases. 'I don't know if they'll race with the same names here but one's called Forwood and the other Right Honourable.' According to the trainer, Forwood showed promise in just half a dozen starts in England in good company, carries a rating of 106 and was purchased with an eye to the Jockey Club's recent rule changes to encourage the purchase of 105-plus racehorses. 'I've a few owners who are interested to bring 105-rating horses here, but horses in that bracket are so expensive you sometimes wonder if the Club might have set the bar a bit high. Perhaps 100-rated horses would have been better, but then again, once people know they are for Hong Kong they slap a big price tag on them regardless of their rating,' he said. 'Forwood has run good races behind good horses. His best was fourth in a Listed race behind King Charlemagne, who is now a Group Two winner and the form from the race has been very smart. He hasn't had a lot of racing so his best should be ahead of him.' Right Honourable, from Ireland, is the winner of a Listed handicap race, and Chapple-Hyam believes he will be well suited in the crucible of Hong Kong racing. 'He's a very tough sort of horse,' was his summary. 'Obviously they have to acclimatise, etcetera, but I would hope they are going to be competitive Class One horses, with a bit of luck. Probably not up to the international races - I'm still looking about for a horse of that standard for this season - but they have some form.' Which, with a bit of luck, will be what Chapple-Hyam will be able to say about himself this season.