Trainer Ricky Yiu poon-fai has burst out of the gates in the new season and the stable's Fortune Bravo looks ready to break through following a near success in the Class Four Shek O Handicap (1,650m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
Fortune Bravo showed ability in his first campaign last season - racking up six placings from 14 outings and had excuses at his final run behind Let's Goal over 1,800 metres when coming out of the race lame the morning after.
With a brief summer recess to recuperate, the five-year-old showed progress in the mornings, including an eye-catching trial effort up the Sha Tin straight. Looking an attractive 43 in the ratings off a five-point reshuffle and off a bottom weight of 117 pounds, Fortune Bravo opened a firming favourite - coming down from $44 to start at $35.
Jumping nicely under the Eddie Lai Wai-ming from gate two, he settled in the box seat behind well-rated leader Pegasus Supreme, who was able to cut out fractions of 28.88, 24.42 and 24.58 through the opening 1,200 metres, straightened two lengths in arrears and finished off soundly to miss out by a short-head - clocking the fastest final 400m in 23.51 seconds.
A son of unproven sprinter Gold Mine and a Tights mare with good staying ability, Fortune Bravo will likely be sticking to distances of 1,400m to 1,800m in search of his first win.