As a black booker from left field, the David Ferraris-trained Daring Heart fills the bill after finishing last to Multigogo on Wednesday night at Happy Valley.
Daring Heart was a picture of unmanageable behaviour for most of the race, giving Neil Callan a hard time, bucking and checking himself early in the race and there was quite clearly something not right.
Ferraris reported that a smaller-than-usual saddle was required for Callan to make the weight on Daring Heart and that requirement meant less packing-type material between the saddle and the horse. As a result, the gelding suffered some pinching or discomfort and his mind was never on the race.
The last time that we saw something similar was, coincidentally, another Ferraris-trained horse, Ambitious Heart, on December 6 at the Valley when he finished last in a race after behaving badly throughout.
Like Daring Heart, that was not his usual demeanour and punters who were prepared to overlook that behaviour and that last placing profited nicely next start when Ambitious Heart was back to his usual form and won at Sha Tin.
Daring Heart’s recent efforts before this aberration had been sound enough, including a win over the Valley 1,650m, so look for him to bounce back once he has completed his steward-ordered barrier trial tests to go back to the races.
A more straightforward black booker from the same race was the John Moore-trained Lucky Storm, who is just about ready to be competitive in something after finishing seventh.
The son of Red Arrow arrived here unraced then showed some glimpses of talent at the trials before going to competition.
His first effort was poor but he has since made incremental improvement each time, running less than three lengths behind Raging Storm over 1,400m before Wednesday’s performance at the extended mile.
He doesn’t appeal as any star in the making but Lucky Storm has some tactical pace and is getting better with racing even as he drifts down the handicap. Soon his rating is going to meet his ability and he might get away with a race at good odds.