When Chris So Wai-yin was assistant trainer to Caspar Fownes before last year's Hong Kong Sprint, he probably was not paying that much attention to Time After Time.

After all, the second favourite was under the care of rival handler John Moore, Fownes was saddling up favourite Lucky Nine and that is where So's responsibilities lay.

Twelve months on, freshman So is out on his own, sweeping all before him in the most impressive debut of recent years and takes his first step into the Group One ring with Time After Time, a horse getting all his attention now and a horse he did not train even when his rookie season kicked off.

"I'm happy to get a horse like this so soon," said So.

If Gerald is happy, I'm happy. He said the horse's action is great
Trainer Chris So

"To be honest, I never expected it, but one of the owners has another horse with me and asked me if I'd like to take this one as well."

Time After Time shifted yards at the beginning of October, around the time he was reported with a bone chip in his left front fetlock, but So managed the six-year-old through the first month of discovery in hopes of getting a race into him and looking towards this Sunday.

"When he ran in the Jockey Club Sprint, honestly I didn't know much about the horse. I had very little time to try to understand the horse and his character and everything," So said.

"And he had that trouble with his left fetlock, so I just wanted to be careful and be sure he will be okay to get to this race. He was maybe 80 per cent fit, but was not beaten far and I was happy enough."

So has relied on the opinion of top jockey Gerald Mosse, who rode Time After Time several times for Moore, including a Group One second behind Ambitious Dragon.

"Gerald really knows the horse and, the first time, said the horse was not ready," So said. "But he rode him again this morning and said he has improved a lot."

Mosse worked the gelding down the riverside over 800 metres, chasing down stablemate Longwah Supreme with comfort.

"I'm very pleased with the way the preparation has gone," Mosse said. "I thought this race might come a bit soon, but Chris has done a very good job. Coming off a long break, Time After Time showed me something last run and he has improved. Other than Lord Kanaloa, it doesn't look a strong race."

With 14 winners from 94 runners, So is already making a name for himself at the bread-and-butter end of the game. Now he has a knockout hope at the caviar level.

"If Gerald is happy, I'm happy. He said the horse's action is great, everything feels right. All I need is a draw and I hope he can run well."