Trainer Danny Shum Chap-shing left Sha Tin empty handed after the favourites Little Cow and Scarlet Camellia failed to figure in the top three, but at least he will be happy about the performance of King's Pact.

The four-year-old was a well-tried performer in Australia, winning a 1,300m maiden at Kensington from 10 starts, and has been taking his time to hit the gears in Hong Kong.

But following his two eye-catching efforts over 1,400m, the latest on Sunday when making a strong late burst to finish fifth, indicated he is ready to win.

King's Pact was switched off from a wide gate, came two off the fence upon straightening with six lengths to make up, had to await for a clear run behind a stalling Polymer Win and Sudden Thunder, before running on strongly in the last 100m to finish 21/2 lengths behind the well-rated winner Flagship Shine. The gelding clocked the fastest final 400m in 22.32.

It was a nice run in defeat when taking into account the moderate fractions and the stop-start problems in the straight and he should have gone closer to figure in the placings.

King's Pact is a home-bred son of Lucky Owners and Carnegie mare Princess Carnegie - the same mating which has brought to Hong Kong the likes of Lucky Omens, who is billed as a Derby prospect for next season, and the retired Lucky Amore.

Lucky Owners scored a Hong Kong Mile/Derby double in the 2003-2004 season for Leung Kai-fai.

King's Pact is likely to be jetting up the ratings and, like his full siblings, and may be worth keeping safe when he shows up at Happy Valley course as well.