INDIAN import Astonish lived up to his name when producing one of the shocks of the season when making a winning start to his Hong Kong career in the third event at Sha Tin yesterday. The six-year-old entire, trained by former Calcutta champion Lawrie Fownes and racing in the well-known orange and mauve quartered silks of husband and wife Rusy and Purviz Shroff, scored by a decisive 11/4 lengths from Icy Bet with Icy Bet's stablemate,Enthusiasm, a similar distance away in third. Astonish, winner of the Bombay 2,000 Guineas before going on to take the all-Indian Derby and St Leger, jumped at 10-1 under Alan Munro who certainly did his part on top, never leaving the fence in a copybook ride before producing his mount with a winning challenge down the centre of the track. It was a tremendous training achievement from the Fownes camp as Astonish has taken plenty of time to settle in at morning trackwork and is still a touch wayward. Astonish's victory also represents a fitting end to a very sporting gesture from the Shroff's who had to go to the expense - and risk - of shipping the son of Malvado from India to the United States for six months to satisfy quarantine restrictions before he made his way to Hong Kong. All in all he had been out of India, where he was formerly trained by leading Bombay handler Bezan Chenoy, for some 10 months before yesterday's competitive 2,000-metre event. Fownes' considerable training achievement should be seen against this background, and in the context of Astonish's temperament. But Fownes was quick to stress that much praise should also go to his stable jockey Darren Gauci who was forced to miss yesterday's winning ride due to a three-day ban imposed for careless riding last weekend. Fownes said: ''Darren has been very instrumental in this horse's success. He has done a marvellous job getting him to settle down. ''He has had a tendency to pull himself round a bit and it is a real shame that Darren was unable to ride as he's done so much of the work.'' But Munro made the most of his booking and as Fownes acknowledged: ''He gave him a super ride.'' For his part Munro just considered himself fortunate to be able to get the run on the fence, adding: ''He's a lovely horse to ride and really answered up when I asked him. He gave me everything he had. ''This is the kind of result which is great for racing and I'm just happy to have been the guy who rode the winner.'' The wider significance of the result is that the quality of India's best performers has now been given an international benchmark. Clearly this paves the way for more imports from India with similar outstanding domestic form credentials. There is talk of some Indian homebreds being bought as yearlings under the private purchase griffin scheme and then shipped to the States for that six-month quarantine period. This seems a less practical option but with the Indian community one of the most committed supporters of local racing, it can only be a matter of time before another top-notch Indian private purchase finds his way into the territory. The quarantine regulations would seem to prevent an Indian representation in the International Cup and Bowl. There was a protracted stewards' inquiry in this race into the running and riding of quality English import Arman's Sax. The race-meeting stewards' interviewed trainer Peter Ng Bik-kuen and jockey Danny Lee for a good half an hour before giving Lee ''the benefit of their doubt''. They also warned Lee as to his future rides. Lee and Ng pointed out that Arman's Sax, who finished ninth of the 11 runners, was hanging in for much of the way.