It's not often that any punter, hobbyist or professional can accurately claim to have seen a future Group horse in Class 3 at a Happy Valley midweeker. But you can find plenty of experienced racing folk declaring just such a future for last week's 2,200 metres winner Super Combed. The conservative, wet-blanket pundits will tell you that Super Combed has only ever won at Happy Valley and that none of the Group races are decided there. True, but if Super Combed happened to get into a 2,400 metres feature at Sha Tin, this column is prepared to suggest he'd be right in the finish, regardless of the quality of the opposition. Which leads us to the next question: how does a horse who has now been boosted to a rating of 82, having been improved 39 points by the handicapper this season, manage to qualify for a race like the $14 million Hong Kong Vase (2,400m) on December 12? There may not even be a race over 2,200 metres at Happy Valley for Super Combed prior to the internationals, so he'll have to transport his form to Sha Tin. Now, on the face value of it, Super Combed has raced eight times on turf at Sha Tin and is still a maiden. But most of those performances were before this late-maturing stayer finally clicked and got his act together. After his first Class Four win at Happy Valley in November, Super Combed returned to Sha Tin over 2,000 metres and was a good thing beaten behind Tusitala in the same grade. Agreed, it's not exactly Hong Kong Vase form, but it did show the Tony Cruz-trained gelding can act around the New Territories course. The amazing thing about Super Combed's recent wins at Happy Valley has been his breathtaking turn of acceleration. Last week's win was quite astonishing, with the blinkered gelding going from seven lengths off the pace to challenging for the lead in the space of 350 metres. If was a turn of foot straight out of the Electronic Unicorn school of quickening. Felix Coetzee eased Super Combed up for the final 100 metres, otherwise the gelding may have wracked up a massive margin, and earned substantially more handicap points than the 12 he was subsequently allocated. When he returns to training in the new term, there will be no margin for error if Super Combed is to make the international meeting. He'll need to win two races, quickly, and then have a crack at the International Cup Trial - over 2,000 metres under special weight conditions in mid November - in order to force the Vase gates open. Remember, there is no such thing as an International Vase trial. But the greater probability is that River Dancer, Elegant Fashion, Bowman's Crossing, Tiber and company will be simply too sharp for Super Combed in the Cup Trial, even if he gets that far, and our most promising 2,400 metres horse will be at home in his stall when Hong Kong stayers get flogged again at the metric mile and a half on international day.