The first local win for newcomer Top Laurels looked to go into the sooner rather than later basket after a nice effort for third at Sha Tin on Sunday put him into the black book.
The Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained Top Laurels had quite a good record in Sydney, under the name Suboric, where he won four and was placed at another three of his 10 starts.
Naturally, that brings him in at a relatively high rating of 75 but there is reason to think that he can certainly win his way into Class Two and that he will hold his own in that grade.
Top Laurels had shown up well at his trials here, making improvement at each appearance, and it was no surprise that he performed well at his first race appearance.
He was a little on the fresh side in running in the race won by High Five and should be open to improvement in that regard, but found the line stoutly behind the first two placegetters.
In Sydney, Top Laurels had wins from 1,300m to 1,800m to his credit so the 1,200m was on the short side and he should soon break through when Man steps him up in distance.
Also going into the black book was Class Fiver, Rainbow Gold, who finally showed some form when he finished a solid third in the opening race on the dirt.
A two-time winner in Australia, Rainbow Gold has shown so little in his prior 10 starts that this was his first finishing position in single digits and only the second time he was less than seven lengths from the winner.
But this was just his second run for Peter Ho and the trainer appears to have discovered some key to turning the six-year-old around.
With some headgear changes, Rainbow Gold raced closer in running from a good gate, finished with some real enthusiasm and, now that he has actually shown some form, he is looking well handicapped after arriving on a rating of 69.
Perhaps he is never going back to that sort of level but he might squeeze out a win or two in the cellar grade.