When the Joao Moreira declared Able Friend the best horse he'd ever sat on yesterday, he might just as well have said the sun rises in the east because he hadn't even passed the post in the Longines Hong Kong Mile and all 74,000 people at Sha Tin already knew that.
The John Moore-trained five-year-old had just won the Mile as he was expected to, but few horses are expected to win international Group One races as he did.
So soft was the victory by more than four lengths over Gold-Fun (Douglas Whyte) and Japan's Grand Prix Boss that racegoers had probably moved on to the question of Able Friend's place in history and in Moreira's career long before the Brazilian did.
And that opinion should be ratified by the world's handicappers today as they meet to discuss updates to the international rankings in the light of the Hong Kong international meeting.
Jockey Club chief handicapper Nigel Gray will recommend Able Friend goes to at least 126, which would place him joint second in the world behind only Just A Way.
"It has to be agreed by my colleagues but my initial view is 126 or 127, which makes him the highest-rated Hong Kong-trained horse of all time," Gray said.
Faced with a wide draw, Able Friend was steadied to the rear as planned, but enjoyed a faster tempo than anyone had envisaged when Gold-Fun forced the speed and the race was over after 200 metres.
The pace took his wide draw out of the equation, his talent would do the rest and all that remained were the prosaic details of Moreira threading him through other runners, weighing in and the posting of times and margins.
"The way he won, coming from a long way back, just passing by runner after runner, and not ever needing the whip - he's just an amazing horse," Moreira said.
Moore seemed unfazed, despite the enormity of a win which was merely expected.
"He repeated what he did in the trial. It's phenomenal," he said. He relaxes and he's got an explosive turn of foot - the way he ran past some serious horses today, I think I've got one of the better milers on the planet."
Although Moore's other star Designs On Rome had the spotlight over Able Friend last season, the trainer said the difference now had been in Able Friend's physical development.
"Last season, when he was 1,240 pounds, Able Friend always looked like just a frame," Moore said. "He's developed more than Designs On Rome. He's now over 1,300 pounds and he's a monster and it is showing."
The winner had toyed with Gold-Fun - the 2013 Mile runner-up - in the his lead-up and that in turn had prompted the change to more aggressive tactics on the Richard Gibson-trained gelding.
"Richard and I talked about it and it was always going to be difficult to beat Able Friend," said Whyte.
"It didn't look like much speed in the race, Gold-Fun had the visor on and we just thought to try something different.
"He fought back and was very tough and in the end still finished second. He probably would have whatever we did."