Gauci prevails at Legrix's expense
By ROBIN PARKE
THERE'S was only a bob of the heads in it, but this time the luck went Planet's way in the final event and kept the Darren Gauci bandwagon rolling smoothly on at Sha Tin yesterday.
Planet has ended up at the wrong end of several close finishes over the past two seasons but Gauci, reunited with the Lam Hung-fie stayer in the Class Three, 1,800-metre nightcap, got him home from the desperately ridden Miss Piggy (8-1).
The inelegantly named Wong Tang-ping galloper should have been ridden by Michael Clarke but Frenchman Eric Legrix got the call-up when the Australian rider was taken to hospital after his earlier fall.
And Legrix must be throwing things at the wall these days. He was beaten a whisker by compatriot Gerald Mosse on Northern Fireball a fortnight ago. On Derby Day, he was again shaded by Mosse when giving a peach of a ride to Busy Win in another distance event.
The camera has gone against Legrix on a couple of other occasions, too, but it has been absolutely no fault of the Frenchman who has given his mounts every possible chance.
It got very close in the run home yesterday but Planet (5-1) prevailed and the result, if nothing else, has been just reward for his consistency.
There was a length and a half back to Gold Capture (4-1), who beat Planet fairly comprehensively over 1,900 metres last time, and his cause was certainly not helped when apprentice Francis K. S. Lam missed the start.
Tony Cruz gained a welcome winner for trainer-brother Derek and himself when maiden Fashion Delux (4-1) finally broke through in the Class Five, 1,400-metre eighth event on the card.
The success underlined the widely held theory that there's a race for most horses in Hong Kong if they drop down far enough and Fashion Delux, a distinctly costly conveyance for all of his very moderate career, was finally on the right mark.
But take nothing away from the Cruz brothers as Derek had him tuned up and Tony positioned him nicely.