A good draw is all that is standing between Regency Ho Ho and his next win after the four-year-old surged home from the rear to finish fourth behind All Great Friends at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
Regency Ho Ho showed good talent at the trials before he raced and has won two of his 10 starts already, each time racing with the speed.
But we have seen a new dimension to him at his last two Valley runs when he has drawn barrier 12, going back to the rear then storming to the line when the tempo was against him behind Twin Delight before Wednesday's similar effort.
Regency Ho Ho is actually looking a better horse ridden with some patience and allowed to find the line, even if that situation has been forced on trainer Benno Yung Tin-pang by the draw.
He can still be sat off the pace from a better gate, but a draw will allow him to stay in shooting range instead of having too much to do, and his big closing run will see him winning again. Now that he has become so solid and consistent, Yung might even roll the dice and try the gelding in something a little longer than 1,200m.
Another with his hoof on the till is Executive Mandate, who had no luck finishing fourth to Sempiternal midweek.
He has already shown that he is very effective on the all-weather, and Executive Mandate took to Happy Valley at the first time of asking too.
His inside draw looked a blessing at declaration time, but turned out to be a curse as the five-year-old suffered some severe interference passing the 550m mark when he ran out of room inside horses and was badly checked. To recover and finish only one and a half lengths from the winner was a terrific effort in the circumstances.
It isn't the first time that Executive Mandate has looked unlucky in a race this season and he has been very consistent, finishing in the first four at every run this campaign. His winning turn must be coming up shortly, either on the dirt or at the Valley.
- The adjourned inquiry into Gerald Mosse's ride on Redkirk Warrior last Sunday will be reconvened on Monday. Chris So Wai-yin's Redkirk Warrior came from the rear to finish fifth at his Hong Kong debut at Sha Tin.