The dirt meeting on Wednesday night featured a couple of very progressive types in the final race, Pick Number One and Ugly Warrior, and it was the former who won this round by a knockout.
The apprentices on Storm Signal and Perpetual Treasure made sure that Pick Number One was always running along in the lead and unable to get a breather.
And while the Danny Shum Chap-shing-trained gelding was burning energy in front, his major rival Ugly Warrior got a much softer trip sitting behind him.
Ugly Warrior should have been able to come out and run over Pick Number One as he tired but Shum’s galloper didn’t tire, he kicked very strongly indeed and looks to have taken some real benefit from almost seven weeks between runs.
This was his best win yet and the three-year-old has a real future on the all-weather.
At the other end of the scale, Golden Sleep arrived from South Africa with a rating of 89 and Derby aspirations but his two wins in Class Three from 41 starts are a fair indication of how much of an impact he has made.
He has been tried at a few different things, winning twice at Happy Valley, but the seven-year-old hasn’t had much exposure on the dirt and that might be the opportunity for him to score again.
Golden Sleep’s last two starts have been on the surface and both times he has had claims to being unlucky, particularly on Wednesday.
Two runs ago, a wide gate was the reason he had to work too hard, but this time it was an inside draw. From gate one, he was always right there on the speed for apprentice Jack Wong Ho-nam but that wasn’t the place in a race where the pace was hot and the race was setting up for finishers.
Amazing Feeling did get over him but not by much and Golden Sleep didn’t shirk the task at all in the final stages. All he needs is a kinder run to save something for the finish and Golden Sleep should be back in the winner’s circle.