Just as happens today, there was keen anticipation among horseracing fans before the first meeting of the new season in February 1904. As the Post's Turf Correspondent rhapsodised: 'Followers of the sport are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the [season's batch of] griffins and looking forward to brisk gallops over the dewy turf in the early hours of bright winter mornings. The 'spruce little animals' - more accurately mean-spirited and only partly broken-in mainland ponies - were given only a few weeks to recover from their voyage south from Shanghai by freighter. With the entrance fee set at $10, no fewer than 49 were entered for the first race of the season reserved for them, the Wong Nei-chong Stakes. A brutally frank idea of the owners' views of their nags, after seeing what had emerged when their shaggy purchases were clipped, is provided by the names of several of the runners - Titmouse, The Loafer, Desperation, P'raps Not and Soup Meat. As usually happens on a racecourse, fortune favoured the runners more kindly treated in the nomenclature department, and Silver Queen Rose beat its stablemate and the favourite, Rosy Morn Rose, rather comfortably, with Cebu third. The winner paid $57 for $5, and the place dividends were $23, $7.50 and $9.40.