'He was a nervous, frightened horse... but he had improved lately' Not so long ago, trainer David Hall was wondering if and when Thunder Valley was going to get the hang of horseracing but the winning debutant showed yesterday how quickly things can turn around. Thunder Valley (Robbie Fradd) was always in the firing line to take out the opener up the straight course but his race sense had not always been so. 'For a horse which had trialled already in New Zealand before he got to me, I thought he would have known a bit more about it,' Hall said. 'I have to thank his owner for being so patient because Thunder Valley hasn't been an easy job. He always showed some speed which was good but it was everything else that I was worried about - he was a nervous, frightened horse and his barrier manners weren't great. But he had improved quite a bit just lately at the trials and I thought he was ready to try in a race.' The Jockey Club's turnover made a stunning comeback thanks to the humble, or much- maligned depending on your viewpoint, Class Five event. After handing back a big chunk of turnover in the fourth race due to Floral Fokanza's withdrawal at the starting gates with lameness in his right foreleg, the club was looking at a year-on-year deficit of some HK$40 million at that stage of the day but rallied to a day's gain of HK$33 million. 'The Class Five today held HK$106 million and turned the day around - it's one of the best-betting Class Fives I can remember,' said executive director of racing Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges. It was birthday times at the Nunes house yesterday and so naturally Manoel turned up with a winner. Recently Nunes promised his wife Allessandra a winner on her birthday and he overpaid with a double at Happy Valley. Yesterday it was the rider's own 31st birthday and he delivered with 58-1 outsider Dansing Fun. 'My instructions were to be midfield but he jumped well, there was no pace and they left me alone in the front,' Nunes said. 'The pace was quite slow, no pressure, and without that, I don't know if he could have won.' And if you think that made it Dansing Fun's 'birthday' win, you can throw in trainer Tony Millard on the same theme as well - today is the South African's 45th. It was a bitter-sweet day for apprentice Marco Chui Kwan-lai, who landed a winner for Tony Cruz on Honest Treasure in the second event but landed a holiday for his performance in the final race. Stewards took a dim view of Chui's efforts on California Prince when he shifted in at the 1,300m mark and checked Pretty Trio. The result was a two-day ban for careless riding and a HK$10,000 fine but Chui will ride Wednesday's Sha Tin card before commencing the suspension.