Chater D' Cat kept clawing back the margin to only go down by a length in his season debut in the Class Three Hoi Ping Handicap over the 1,650m on the all-weather card on Wednesday night at Sha Tin, and branded himself a sure-fire winner next time around on this surface. The David Ferraris-trained five-year-old finished thereabouts for some minor prize money in five of his opening 13 runs on the turf, but only saw daylight with a switch to the dirt surface for his final three outings last term - winning twice over 1,650m and 1,800m. Chater D' Cat looked suited for his return under the guidance of Weichong Marwing, but with his bodyweight 10 pounds above his latest winning weight, he was certain to come on for the run. He was given a ground-saving run before cutting back the margin to finish an eye-catching fifth, a length behind the near triple-dead heat winners My Home Town, Longwah Rising and Buccaneer, with pacesetter Quantum Express a neck away in fourth. Off a mark of 72, Ferraris may have to keep the son of Tale Of The Cat ticking along in his trials or in a turf race before unleashing his charge in a suitable dirt race on December 4. The Sean Woods-trained Win-A-Lot appreciated a return to the dirt surface for a closing second behind Macho Expresso in the Class Four Sun Wui Handicap over the mile and should be greeting the judge next time out. He was taken back by replacement rider Douglas Whyte from gate 12 to settle behind midfield, but lost ground and momentum when steadied off the heels of Lucky Army passing the 800m, angled into the clear at the 450m and flashed home nicely to get within a neck of the winner. The six-year-old has been competitive on the turf in the past, including a win over the 1,200m. He made steady progress in three Happy Valley runs over the mile this campaign, but appears at his best nowadays on the dirt. Woods will have to devise a careful plan for his next assault with Win-A-Lot, but a dirt sprint on November 21 looks a logical choice for this fellow. Others to take note of from Wednesday's meeting were Ka Ka's Prosperity, Dashing Ace, Soldier, Glorious Giant, impressive winner Flashing Aura and Smart Kids.