The Michael Chang Chun-wai-trained Big Four produced an encouraging debut performance in the Class Three Pearce Memorial Challenge Cup on the Sha Tin straight on Saturday and looks to have room to move up the ladder.
Big Four may have snuck under the radar after entering Hong Kong off a mark of 66 for a win and three unplaced efforts in Australia as Humble Power. His three-quarter length victory in a two-year-old Handicap at Newcastle over 1,400m came at the expense of the eventual Group One AAMI Victoria Derby winner Fiveandahalfstar.
He may have had a quick preparation since September, but trialled nicely to win over this distance on December 12 for Olivier Doleuze.
The three-year-old (15-1) was restless in the stalls and jumped awkwardly from gate four, tacked on to settle two off the stands side about seven lengths off the leader Xi Ying Men and switched to the centre part of the track on his own along the slower section of the course at the 600m. He then responded well to loom a chance at the 200m before his condition gave out to hold second-favourite Seasons Star for fifth - 2¾ lengths off the winner Windicator Star.
Big Four is by Redoute's Choice stallion God's Own and Mr Henrysee mare La Rev. God's Own - a remarkable come-from-behind winner of the 2005 Caulfield Guineas after being badly hampered in the run on a dead course at a mile - has produced one other Hong Kong starter in Africa Light (two time winner over 1,400m) last season.
La Rev was pretty useful, winning four races up to 1,200m on fast or rain-affected going and has been represented by the mile winner Miss Reveal (by Testa Rossa).
The three-year-old will significantly benefit from the experience and should give his connections an enjoyable time at the races.