IVAN Allan looks the man to follow this season - just as he was last term and when training in Singapore. His runners habitually need an outing to reach their best, sometimes two. But you can bet there will be one or two horses that Allan slips under everyone's guard at the first time of asking. His Centaine gelding, Hercules, hinted at ability on his first run when sent round the Valley's 975-metre course. He appeared to have improved in his trackwork going into yesterday's opening event and confirmed that with a much more forward showing which augurs well. Basil Marcus had Hercules smartly out of the stalls and straight to the front. There looked to be a good chance of them running the quinella when they hit the straight still in front but lack of hard condition and racing experience took their combined toll in the final 100 metres. Hercules weakened to finish fourth of the 14 runners but this was a considerable improvement on his first run and he is going to get better with every outing. Do not give up on Peter Ng Bik-kuen's Over The Blues who was the plunge horse in the third event down the straight 1,000 metres. He could never go the pace but stayed on well to the line in a manner which suggests he will be winning over 1,400 metres to a mile.