Saint-Martin treasures his victory for Size
'I feel like I won the Derby,' laughed jockey Eric Saint-Martin after his modest victory on Golden Treasure in the Nathan Handicap (1,800m).
The reason? It was the Frenchman's first win for premier trainer John Size, after approaching him for mounts at yesterday's meeting and coming up with the right one in the 1,800m all-weather event.
'I have hardly had a ride for John in all the time he has been here. I said to him one day that when I ride a winner for him maybe I will retire,' Saint-Martin said. 'But with Douglas Whyte away in Japan today and with Felix Coetzee suspended, there was a chance to do something for him. I went to John and asked him if he had anything available and this one was free. I am very happy.'
In fact, Saint-Martin's mounts for Size numbered just 12 before yesterday, with only one placing on Congratulation in October two years ago, but the French ace made no mistake in racking up the victory from gate one yesterday. 'You know, you can feel what a good trainer John is,' he said. 'The horse goes out there really wanting to run, feeling fit, feeling good. I think he makes Douglas' job easy!'
Saint-Martin's comments echoed many of his counterparts in the past after riding for Size, but the trainer himself was happy to credit the inside draw with the breakthrough win for Golden Treasure.
'You go back over his runs and he's been caught wide many times and he's never had a race really work out properly for him until today,' he said. 'He didn't win out of his turn really. He's been knocking on the door for quite a while and Eric made sure the horse got a charmed run through from the one gate. That was all the difference this time but he finished the race off well.'
The win cut into John Moore's four-win trainers' championship lead, but only briefly, as Moore hit back with Sea Treasure later in the day to end the programme as the pair had begun it.