Freshman trainer David Hall can add to what has already been a very good week when he combines with leading apprentice Alex Lai Hoi-wing and seven-year-old South China Ninety in the opening event on tonight's mixed card at Sha Tin. South China Ninety is a solid $49 [for $10] second favourite for the Class Four (1,200 metres) on the all-weather track, behind topweight Supremacy [$29]. As usual, the sheer popularity of champion jockey Douglas Whyte assures Supremacy of favourite but the chances of the two top fancies are much closer than the markets suggest. South China Ninety has been out of the winning list for a long time but has shown a resurgence of enthusiasm under the patient handling of Hall. The Melbourne Cup winning trainer seems to have him more free in his action than he's been at any stage over the past 12 months, and that freedom from discomfort may well translate into an overdue win this evening. Hall has made no secret of how impressed he has been with young Lai, who had his apprentice allowance reduced from 10 pounds to seven recently. He has handled South China Ninety twice for a second and a third, and can now graduate to be first home - especially with a 19 pound weight pull over Supremacy (133 pounds), a gelding who has never been renowned for his strength or constitution. Hall, the original trainer of outstanding staying mare Makybe Diva before taking up an offer from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, received a wonderful compliment this week when he was asked to take over the training of Derby sixth Grand Zulu from John Size. Hall also has a sound chance in the second race with Euphoric Kid, who will also be ridden by the apprentice. Euphoric Kid, who holds pride of place as Hall's first winner in Hong Kong, impressed with a last-start third to Lucky Cordelia over 1,400m. The Flying Spur gelding was a $100 chance on overnight markets.