Three jockeys were suspended on Sunday at Sha Tin and, on a day when there seemed to be more than the usual interference, there were a few glaring black bookers.
Refined Treasure finished closer to last than first in the opening race but, at the time when he almost came down, the Tony Millard-trained three-year-old did look like he would part of the finish of the opening race.
Golden Dash won by a convincing margin as it turned out – almost two lengths – but it may not have been as clear cut had Karis Teetan been able to find a clear way through for this son of Lope de Vega.
He may not have been the winner but he could probably lay claim to a sound debut second and his run was a confirmation his trials had not deceived anyone.
The betting market didn’t think so, sending him out a strong fancy after that excellent trial against Premiere and House Of Fun and the gelding shouldn’t be long about atoning for his bad luck on the weekend.
Another obvious pick off the video replays was the David Hall-trained Lucky Time in the fifth race and he could probably go around again this week he spent so little energy in his race.
He ran ninth in the race won by Compassion Star, a race with all the ingredients to be a poor guide to the future – slow time, a very busy finish with many horses close up and plenty of hard luck stories.
Lucky Time parked three-back along the fence in running and that probably was always going to be tricky considering the slow pace, as the field doesn’t break open the same way when there’s no speed on to tire horses out faster.
Travel Emperor, parked behind the leader, had to wait before he could get through quite late for a run at the leaders and Sam Clipperton on Lucky Time had to wait for Travel Emperor to go before he could ever get a crack at them – that chance never came and the five-year-old went to the line under a hold but he looks capable of atoning soon.