It would be great to put Beat The Clock in the black bookers after a stunning return to racing on Sunday at Sha Tin but that boat has pretty much sailed now he has a rating in triple figures but some lesser beasts made the list to follow.
Beat The Clock’s improvement from three to four had to be seen to be believed, running his last 400m almost a second faster than any horse at the meeting, on an afternoon when Hong Kong’s best available were strutting their stuff.
So he was remarkable and the same cannot be said, at this stage anyway, of the lesser mortals who we are black booking from the third.
Foremost among them is Strathspey, a three-year-old returning from a summer break after he was a useful fourth as a green, immature two-year-old at his only appearance.
Strathspey is by O’Reilly out of a Pins mare, so that takes in some of the most Hong Kong-friendly breeding you can get.
Strathspey finished fourth over 1,200m in his only start last season and raced first-up at 1,400m this time, which all says he is going to be wanting more ground as his career progresses.
On Sunday, from a wider draw, Strathspey settled past midfield and in the three-wide line before running on solidly to be third to two lightly raced four-year-olds Compassion Star and Godspeed.
Both of them have shown some ability at different times and have more upside in them, so it speaks well of the younger horse that he shaped so well.
Strathspey is only going to get better with more time but now might be the time to get on his tail while he is in the middle of Class Four.
The John Moore-trained three-year-old Amusing City was already on our list of black bookers but he really caught the eye finishing off just behind the placegetters in the same race with top weight.
Like Strathspey, he has breeding lines that suggest he will want some more ground than 1,400m but he looks to be coming good now and ready for the step up.