His sire, Falbrav, brilliantly won eight Group Ones at middle distances, while his mother is a half-sister to a New Zealand Oaks placegetter. So who would have guessed two-year-old Speedy Star would be so smooth in a barrier trial at 800 metres? But that was precisely what happened at Sha Tin on Tuesday when Speedy Star, handled by Jacky Tong Chi-kit for Peter Ho Leung, scored a comfortable half-length victory in the griffin trial over the minimum distance. The gelding cost his owner HK$4.7 million at the Hong Kong International Sale in December and, on the evidence of this trial alone, is one of the more promising of the latest bunch of graduates, whose ranks from previous years include Good Ba Ba, The Duke and Scintillation. Speedy Star defied his stamina-laden pedigree to lead at the short trip, but was always well and truly on the bridle. Even as runner-up and fellow international sale griffin (ISG) Ambitious Treasure attempted to put on more pressure, it was he who came off the bit first at the urgings of Mark du Plessis, while Speedy Star remained under a good hold. Falbrav won the 2003 Hong Kong Cup in an effort that is still honoured as the highest-rating performance at Sha Tin. He had also won the Japan Cup the previous year, in addition to races at the highest level in England, France and Italy, as well as being a good thing beaten in the Breeders' Cup Turf at a mile and a half. Speedy Star is a half-brother to local sprinter Harb, who was a Listed winner in South Australia as a two-year-old prior to his export. He is closely related to 2005 New Zealand Oaks second Filante Etoile and 14-time winner Star Dancer, as well as the champion three-year-old of 1991-92, Naturalism. Speedy Star ran the 800m in 47.2 seconds, which was standard time after factoring out the speed of the track. It was clearly short of the 45.9 seconds taken by brilliant last-start winner Silent Dragon, with the straight-track specialist being handled by Douglas Whyte to win the third heat easily.