QUICK-FIRE DOUBLE UP LANE'S STREET
AUSTRALIAN mentor Geoff Lane has picked up where he left off at the end of last season as yesterday's quick-fire Sha Tin double proved.
Lane lifted the first two events when a rejuvenated Skystone trotted up for champion jockey Robbie Fradd before returning to the winner's circle shortly after to laud crack French jockey Eric Saint-Martin's heady front-running display on Bruin Supreme in the second.
Fradd went on to complete a double of his own aboard the Peter Ho-trained Lucky Six, who brained his opposition in the final leg of the Triple Trio. Saint-Martin, riding as well as at any time in a glorious career, also went home with a brace after guiding Greenmore to his maiden success in the seventh.
Skystone's success will have given the one-time champion apprentice of Victoria plenty of satisfaction as the eight-year-old New Zealand-bred has had a chequered career with only one win coming from his previous 32 outings.
However, he was in rude health for yesterday's seasonal debut and was given a sweet passage by Fradd in sixth spot before reeling in the leaders in the straight to score by 1.25 lengths over Sunny Day.
Saint-Martin can take much of the credit for Bruin Supreme's effort, as he managed to get the five-year-old to settle in the lead before holding on for a narrow but decisive win over the fast-finishing Good Job.
This Class Five, 1,400-metre contest did not look suitable for Bruin Supreme, whose other two wins came over 1,600 and 1,800 metres.