Lotzatow finds feet after class move
French rider Olivier Doleuze kept a partnership intact and working in the right direction when Lotzatow found the ground, the gear and the grade he had been searching for in the Wan Chai Handicap over 1,400 metres.
'He was the first horse I rode on the track when I returned to Hong Kong for the season, so I'm happy he is my first winner, too,' said a tanned and smiling Doleuze. 'He didn't have a lot of work before this but he is not a horse who needs a lot just the same.'
The handy Towkay gelding had shown promise at different times during six starts last season with Manfred Man Ka-leung after his arrival from New Zealand, but didn't manage to find the placings in mostly Class Two company.
'Now he is in Class Three and that's more suitable for him,' said Man.
'There was nothing wrong with him last season but he was a bit green and I don't think the horse was quite ready to do his best. Now, as a four-year-old, he is getting stronger and I think he'll have a better season.'
Doleuze said that temperament had also been a problem with the gelding, who had been tried in blinkers at his prior run in June but failed in the gear.
'Today, with the Visor, he was much more relaxed,' Doleuze observed. 'I had thought to ride him a bit closer today but when the pace was quite good I said, 'Okay, I'll wait',' Dolezue said. 'When he came at them he really came strongly and I think that he can improve again. I'm sure there is another step there to come so maybe he will win again.'
Favourite Shiny Ribbon didn't have the best of luck from a wide gate, with jockey Felix Coetzee having to chase him along to keep his position three wide off the pace, but he fought on strongly to the line to be beaten just over two lengths.