Things have not been straightforward for Fairy Twins this season but the talented five-year-old still looms as the one to beat in the Hong Kong Club Challenge Cup (1,200m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.

In fact, it’s reasonable to say that a fair part of the career of Fairy Twins (Pierre-Charles Boudot) has not been straightforward, even though the Chris So Wai-yin-trained gelding has assembled a record of three wins and three seconds from 11 starts.

He missed the second half of last season after throat surgery and then returned this season with excuses first-up before a big run second-up indicated he was back.

But, when he was ready to win, there was a foot problem in November that cost him two weeks of work and he had to bypass the race So had earmarked for him.

Fear not, when So did get him back to the races on International Jockeys’ Championship night a month later, the gelding still managed to do enough to win over this trip. That was a very good win because the slow tempo played against Fairy Twins, so did his lack of a race for two months and that showed in the final stages when he appeared to be empty but still scraped in.

A few days later, his fitness was an issue again when a hind leg problem cost him a few gallops, but So took him to the trials on January 5 and Fairy Twins performed well enough against the likes of Mr Stunning and D B Pin to say that he is somewhere near the top of his game.

Chris So is dreaming of Dubai with dirt specialist Classic Emperor

There looks good pace in the race, with Phantom Falcon (Dylan Mo Hin-tung) drawn wide and the speedy Dashing Gainer drawn low and Harbour Alert with pace in between them.

That should suit the tactic which has worked best with Fairy Twins, letting him settle and coming into the race in the final 300m.