Black bookers now are looking ahead past the break and newcomers Jolly Gains and Lucky Time both looked horses to follow next campaign in their debut runs behind All You Need last Sunday at Sha Tin.
Stewards queried the ride on Lucky Time after he was taken back from a bad draw by Zac Purton and then found the rail, but he explained that the first starter’s inexperience counted against him when he was attempting to make up ground in tight quarters.
Lucky Time showed good talent in a trial win in New Zealand but has had injury issues here which have held back the commencement of his race career.
His trials locally though offered hope that he has lost nothing and running on to be just behind the placegetters in sixth last weekend was a good pointer to the gelding’s early prospects.
Everything about the year-younger Jolly Gains says that he is not a short course horse and that was how he raced too behind All You Need.
Taking up a position in midfield for Douglas Whyte, Jolly Gains produced an even, steady finish into fifth, just ahead of Lucky Time, and the 1,200m distance was clearly short of what was needed.
A son of Savabeel out of a daughter of Epsom Derby winner Generous, this three-year-old also showed great ability in his New Zealand trials but he wants 1,600m and perhaps more to show his best.
For something closer at hand, John Moore will be looking to Dylan Mo Hin-tung to come up with a better effort aboard Team Sweet on Sunday than Matthew Poon Ming-fai was able to produce last weekend.
It’s hard to hang Poon too high – Team Sweet has shown many times that he is not reliable – but it was hard to ignore his run behind Leisured Feet after being very wide throughout from a wide gate last week.
He will still probably be a handful from gate nine for Mo but punters should at least be aware there was merit in his run and he was value for a better finishing position than fourth when he runs this time.