Caspar Fownes' Highest Acclaim produced an eye-catching fourth in the Class Four Sing Woo Handicap (1,000m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night and will be ready to score when stepping out over a longer trip.
Fownes knows he has a gem in his hand and is taking his time to teach this youngster the ropes and that patient handling will be rewarded in years to come.
Bought for HK$4 million at the Hong Kong International Sale in March by Connie Siu Kim-ying, Highest Acclaim is still learning what's racing is all about, but he definitely has an engine, judging by the way he has been hitting the line in all his runs from wide alleys.
This time, drawing a much better gate (five), the three-year-old missed the start by nearly two lengths and Brett Prebble was hard at work before the final turn. But once turning in, he switched on the jets to finish 1½ lengths behind upset winner D Day Super, clocking under 23 seconds for the final 400m.
The Irish-bred, racing in the same silks as Group-winning miler Destined For Glory, is a son of Royal Applause stallion Acclamation and Night Shift mare Carpet Lady.
Acclamation was a six-time sprint winner in Britain and has produced five winners up to 1,400m from his six starters in Hong Kong, including Sparkling Power, Royal Flush and Able Too.
Carpet Lady was placed at 1,200m, but is a half-sister to Winning Horse, a Centurion Trophy (HK Group Three) winner over the mile, and has produced five winning foals over sprint-to-mile distances.