A couple of newcomers with different backgrounds put themselves into our black book for the future at Sha Tin on Monday, with the previously unraced Happy Sebring and more experienced Sumstreetsumwhere looking coming winners.
And both of them look like their first Hong Kong assignment was quite unsuitable over 1,200m and they will come into their own as their distances get stretched out.
In the third race, won by Star Shine, Sumstreetsumwhere even looked like he might have something wrong with him at one stage mid-race when he seemed unable to keep up with the pack. In his trials, it looked like he would want more ground, even though his wins in New Zealand had been at 1,200m and 1,400m, but not as much as it looked under race conditions.
The pace wasn’t especially punishing but the further they went the further Sumstreetsumwhere seemed to be getting behind and it was easy to write him off before the home straight. But, once the job got serious in the final 300m, the Caspar Fownes-trained three-year-old warmed to his task and was really finding the line by the time the judge called the race over.
What his right distance might be remains to be seen but when Fownes stretches him out, Sumstreetsumwhere should start to pay his bills.
To a large extent, Happy Sebring is in the same boat, except that he came here unraced. Sebring tends to sire middle distance and staying horses, even though he himself won a Golden Slipper, and Happy Sebring will not be seen at his best until he hits at least a mile.
Douglas Whyte got a proper workout pushing the three-year-old along even in a modestly run 1,200m, but the gelding was very strong at the finish behind Aerohappiness.
How long Francis Lui Kin-wai persists with running Happy Sebring over sprint trips is probably dependent on how the youngster progresses physically, but when he is ready for 1,600m or further, he is going to come into his own and might turn out a handy galloper.
We have seen he is effective on firm turf and, with his breeding, he might even handle the dirt well.