The magic was all back as Joao Moreira tore the heart out of the Sha Tin card, finishing his five-timer with two wins for John Size - then handing all the credit back to the trainer.
Some sections of the Chinese racing press had been rumbling that Moreira's form so far this term was below the Olympian standards he set last season, but the Brazilian left no place to hide for doubters after he won on Born To Win in the third then strung together four straight on Sure Peace and Brilliant Dream in the sixth and seventh, respectively, before Size-trained Amazing Kids and So Fast won races eight and nine.
"I don't think I have ridden for many trainers who can tell you before the race what is going to happen and get it so right as often as John Size. It has happened many times before and he really must take all the credit for the two wins today," Moreira said. "How he reads a race is just remarkable."
Amazing Kids, resuming for the campaign in the Class Two feature sprint, drew awkwardly in stall 11 in the field of 12 but Moreira said Size had walked him through a race plan that made it look easy.
"John said there would be a hot pace in the race and that I shouldn't try to challenge them because it would be too much to do," Moreira explained. "He said to come back early, just give the horse his chance to finish the race strongly. It worked out exactly and I really think that today Amazing Kids was quite amazing. He gave me a great feeling and I feel he has made a step of improvement from last season."
Amazing Kids burst through between horses in the final 200m and the jockey had his chance to get ready for the photo as he eased the four-year-old down to a two-and-a-half length margin, but the finish was more nip-and-tuck when So Fast made it two wins from three starts in the ninth, narrowly holding fast-finishing Lucky Celebrity.
So Fast had just two starts last preparation, both around a turn over 1,200m and this was to be his first experience down the straight course under race conditions.
With the false rail not in place on the C+3 track, he wasn't handed any favours with barrier one but Moreira said that might even have been a crucial positive for his chances in the end.
"It might not have been the worst thing for this particular horse," he said, after sitting out in the centre of the track in midfield on the gelding for most of the race before working into the picture in the final 300m.
"That ride really wasn't the plan - to be honest, we thought he would have enough speed to be right with the leaders but he didn't. Still, the main point John made to me before the race was that So Fast doesn't like being in between horses, he's too green and immature mentally. So, if I had drawn a better gate, he might have ended up behind them on the outside and he wouldn't have won the race because he wouldn't have shown his best. The benefit of the bad draw, gate one, was that John wanted the horse to have plenty of room and I was able to give him room out there. It was only a narrow win but I think what we discovered today is that he's not really a 1,000m horse and needs further."
Like John Moore earlier in the day, Size's two victories got him off the mark for the new term after little more than a handful of runners in the first four meetings.