Most of the form from Happy Valley on Wednesday night probably has to be treated with caution in the future as the track elicited a bias as the night wore on and horses on the inside looked to be under a disadvantage.
Nevertheless, there were horses to follow and primary among them was The Judge from the Caspar Fownes stable.
Having his first run down in Class Four, after he had started to show something in Class Three in his past few starts, The Judge was in the best part of the track but was by no means in the right part of the race when finishing second to Don’t Miss.
Don’t Miss was again able to dictate terms over the Valley 1,650m under a light weight, and then let rip with a strong sprint from well before turning into the straight.
That race pattern would have required The Judge, sitting just worse than midfield for much of the race, to unleash a particularly fast finishing sprint to win and concede 14 pounds to the winner doing it.
He wasn’t quite up to that but The Judge did knuckle down to produce a finish that got him into a convincing second.
When he raced in New Zealand, under the name Ryan Jim, The Judge won two out of two starts at 1,200m.
He has had no trouble stretching out to something longer now as an older horse and he is looking just for the right race pattern to land his first local win.
Manfred Man Ka-leung had a good night with a double but Buoyant Boy also advertised himself as a coming winner for the team in the opening race.
In each of Buoyant Boy’s three runs, he has drawn wide but shown the talent to win a race early in his career, but it probably won’t be over 1,000m.
How close he might be from an inside gate we won’t know until he gets one, but his position in running has been an issue so far. Perhaps it’s about the distance, and Buoyant Boy does give every impression that he is going to appreciate 1,400m.