Beadman can work his Magic for Cruz

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 February, 2008, 12:00am

A bereavement suffered by jockey Eric Saint-Martin may have gifted a win to Darren Beadman, as the Australian champion takes over on Country Magic in what will be his first ride for the Tony Cruz yard.

As incredible as it may seem, Beadman has not had a single ride for the Cruz stable, but finds himself on a winning chance as Saint-Martin, Country Magic's booked rider, has been given permission to forego his last two mounts on the Happy Valley card.

Beadman has had a quiet month by his championship standards, with One World being his last winner over 1,200 metres at Sha Tin on January 20. And even that verdict was handed to him in the stewards' room.

The champion rider from Sydney is retained as stable jockey for the John Moore yard and is therefore restricted to just three outside rides at any given meeting. And as the Moore yard has endured a brief drought, naturally the stable rider must experience the same.

Yesterday morning, Saint-Martin (pictured) contacted stipendiary stewards to advise them of a death in the family at home in his native France. He has rides in three of the first four races, but will then rush to Chek Lap Kok to board a flight to Paris.

Beadman picked up the Country Magic mount yesterday morning, while the other Saint-Martin ride, Jolly Good Fortune in the final event for Francis Lui Kin-wai, has been secured by Felix Coetzee.

Country Magic, a winner over the course and distance on December 5 when ridden by apprentice Marco Chui Kwan-lai, was $56 second favourite on last night's 7pm tote call, with Double Luck (Christophe Soumillon) the clear-cut favourite at $26.

Saint-Martin still has a chance to get the expenses before his dash to France. He will again pilot impressive debut winner Good Touch in the opener for Danny Shum Chap-shing.

Good Touch, a powerfully made three-year-old by Stravinsky, was impressive over this course and distance on December 19, showing an excellent turn of finishing speed.

Good Touch was a dominant $30 favourite for a race in which most of his logical rivals, on form, have drawn wide.