The next generation of talent was on show at Sha Tin on Sunday with four three-year-olds saluting and all of them are worth following, but Happy Sebring is the one who can provide a quick return.
Having his second start, the Francis Lui Kin-wai-trained gelding relished the addition of blinkers and the step up to 1,400m in the Class Four Wong Handicap, but after settling midfield on the rail, Douglas Whyte was left with a lapful of horse and nowhere to go as they entered the straight.
The South African jockey wove left and right trying to find a gap but we held up for the best part of 300m before spotting an opening and rushing through to salute by three-quarters of a length.
Happy Sebring would have been a tragedy beaten if he hadn’t found the split late, but the small winning margin means he has only gone up seven ratings points to 59 and will get another crack in the grade.
Given Whyte’s comments after the race, it is an opportunity punters should not miss.
“He did a great job, that was impressive,” he said. “For a young horse to do that at his second start, to pull himself off the canvas like that, it was a great sign. To do what he did he proved he has an engine.”
The horse who was hit hardest by the handicapper in the aftermath of Sunday’s meeting was John Size’s Raging Storm, who went up 12 points to 75.
But his performance in the Class Three Chan Trophy (1,200m) suggests he should have no problem handling the increase.
After jumping from barrier 10, Joao Moreira pushed forward without leading but he couldn’t slot in and was posted three-wide without cover while the leaders hummed along at a strong clip.
That was no problem for the son of Fastnet Rock, who cruised to the front on the turn and burst away from his rivals, with the Magic Man able to ease him down in the shadows of the post.
He now has two wins from his four starts – jumped a short-priced favourite on each occasion – but Size thinks, after some early teething issues, he is maturing and can go on with it.