Fresh is best as Delpech grabs double on return
The world looked a much brighter place through the eyes of Anthony Delpech last night, with the former South African champion having returned in blazing triumph from his nine-meeting suspension.
Delpech had been benched by the stewards for his ride on Spare A Dime at Sha Tin in late September, when the John Size-trained three-year-old rushed home late to finish second.
He was charged with failing to take all possible measures to win or obtain the best possible placing, fought the charge all the way but ultimately had to take the result on the chin after his appeal was dismissed but the sentence reduced.
Yesterday, Delpech did what champions do - bounced back on top. He won the second race at his very first ride back on Faster Faster for David Ferraris and later both combined to land the final event with Regency Dragon, defeating the Tony Millard-Kevin Shea team with Wei Hai Invincible in an all-South African finish.
Delpech had returned to his homeland with his family during the enforced lay-off and said it was just the mental freshen-up he needed.
'It took my mind off the whole issue, gave me a chance to settle down and clear my head,' he said. 'If I stayed here, riding work, I would not have been happy and probably just got myself more upset about it all. This way, I've come back fresh and keen, and ready to get on with it.'
No one could fault Delpech on the score of persistence with Faster Faster, who commonly misses the start and didn't disappoint in that regard yesterday.
'It doesn't seem to matter who rides him, or how ready we are for him, he just keeps standing there and missing it, but I rode him hard to pick up the ground fairly quickly,' he said.
Things were much easier for Delpech on Regency Dragon, a former inmate of the Tony Cruz stable but transferred to Ferraris after a disagreement between Cruz and owner Wong Shun-yuen.
'I have to give David credit for getting this right, because my own opinion was that he might need one more run,' Delpech said. 'But David got him spot on. He travelled strongly all the way and has won it well, he never really gave me any concerns.'