Suborics claims a double, but ban spoils his day
Austrian rider Andreas Suborics was happy to take up the leading jockey role with Douglas Whyte and Brett Prebble absent in Japan and a double and a sprinkling of placings saw him claim the Jockey Challenge honours for the card as many expected - but he also claimed another careless riding ban.
Since commencing his contract in March, Suborics has already had three careless riding charges against him - although he is awaiting an appeal against the severity of the three-day ban he received last week - and when first-starter Jolly Victor shifted in abruptly in the final 100m of the fifth race yesterday, it was curtains again.
Suborics copped another two day penalty and HK$25,000 fine for the incident, which had the jockey in two minds as Jolly Victor came to win the race and ultimately went down by only two short heads.
'I was trying to keep my horse straight but also trying to keep going forward because I could win the race,' the rider said later, and he had to make do with a pair on John Moore's promising young sprinter Sterling City and the Tony Cruz-trained Turf Express.
Sterling City did just what most expected of the $15 favourite, who camped up on the pace then drew clear of Shahjee to win in tradesmanlike rather than spectacular fashion.
'He's got a future for sure,' said Moore. 'That was what we wanted to see today and I think he could have one more before the season is over. Then he can develop during the summer and we will see what we've got when he comes back.'
Suborics said the youngster was still a bit new to everything at his fifth start, including the process of winning.
'When he hit the front, he wasn't sure what to do so I had to use the stick,' he said. 'But he'll learn and he'll get stronger for the break.'
The jockey had finished second last at his only previous experience with Turf Express, so he had been surprisingly keen on his chances in yesterday's Class Two ninth event.
'I rode him in the Macau Hong Kong Trophy and that day in Macau the track was so wet it was just too deep - all the Hong Kong horses failed in it,' Suborics explained.
'But I saw his run before that when Gerald Mosse rode him and he had a tough trip but still wasn't beaten far in his race here in Class One. And when he trialled well the other day for Weichong Marwing, I got pretty confident he could run well.'
There were no tough trips this time, Suborics getting the better of a barrier eight draw to give the five-year-old a 'perfect trip'.
'And I'm especially pleased because that's my first win for Tony Cruz,' said Suborics, who had only a handful of prior rides for the leading trainer.