Ever Laugh wasn’t able to make his debut a winning one but the Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained three-year-old will have the last laugh after an eye-catching fifth to Jolly Bountiful.
In a season that hasn’t exactly been one for the scrapbook, Man landed his 16th win on Sunday with Laugh Out Loud, owned in similar interests, to put aside any issues with the Jockey Club’s performance benchmarks.
But a young horse like Ever Laugh offers some blue sky for the future and there was nothing in this display to dissuade anyone that he will win races, despite the defeat, after Ever Laugh produced the best finishing sprint of the meeting.
It does have to be mentioned here that sectional watchers should be aware of a significant tail wind in the straight that was present throughout the meeting and assisted fast final 400m times all day, so those times need to be considered in that context and don’t bear comparison with other days.
But, comparing apples with apples – the sectionals only from this meeting’s racing – it was still a nice performance from an inexperienced horse with a future.
The other word of caution on the final sectional vis a vis the rest of the meeting, is that this race was laid out in a way that helped horses to run a strong final split.
The race was not quickly run from the gates to the home turn, with an even, untesting formula to the race shape, and the second and third best splits of the whole day belonged to the winner, Jolly Bountiful, and to Mordicus, who got knocked down to the rear early and made good ground in the run home.
So Ever Laugh’s sectional was a little flattered by the circumstances but it was still his first race appearance and there was a lot to like about it.
As a son of Savabeel, his best is likely to be produced over further than 1,400m and with more time, but he is certainly right up to winning a Class Four before the season ends and is worth pursuing into the early stages of next season as well.