Mosse gathers a classy double
Cultured French rider Gerald Mosse underlined why for so many years he was the darling of the Happy Valley crowd with a smooth double at the city track yesterday.
Mosse, formerly retained by Patrick Biancone as well as having enjoyed stints here as a Club jockey, is forming a new alliance with record-breaking local handler Brian Kan Ping-chee. Mosse is available to all trainers but Kan in particular is keen to avail himself of the French star's talents.
Yesterday they combined to take the fourth event with the late maturing New Zealand import Star Of Tai Po and then went out to take the fifth on the thorough stayer Super Splendid.
Kan was his usual carefree self after the double. 'A double is all right but it's nothing special. I train lots of winners. It's what you call just another day at the office. It wasn't as if they were big money races.'
Mosse first came here way back in 1991 when a surprise and big-name replacement for the veteran French rider Maurice Philipperon, who had no inkling that he and Biancone were going to go their separate ways. In those days the Happy Valley circuit was sans the camber and the rises and falls which were landscaped in during the $1 billion revamp.
'The riding is just as competitive as it always was. It's not easier and it's not tougher but the track has changed and made things a lot more physical for us and the horses,' said Mosse. 'You have to be at them nearly all the time. It is nearly impossible to help your horse through the race by giving them a bit of time to relax and get a breather. You have to be at them the whole way. Now it is very important to have a horse who is very switched on and knows what he's doing. They are at it the whole way, from start to finish.'
As for the day itself, Mosse added: 'It's a good feeling to come back and ride a double so soon. The horses were well prepared and did their job well. Mr Kan was good to me when I was here last season, too.'
Eric Saint-Martin added to the French presence on the scoresheet with a rails win on the Peter Ho-trained Legend of Wei Hai in the second. Unlike last time when Legend of Wei Hai was trapped off the track the entire journey from barrier 13 in the race won last Wednesday night by Mission Sealed, they enjoyed the perfect trail throughout from gate one. This allowed Saint-Martin to ease him clear in the straight with Sterling Chance, blinkered for the first time, plugging on to keep Winwin Combination out of the quinella.