Doleuze puts on power-pack display
Olivier Doleuze stood heads and shoulders above his rivals at Sha Tin yesterday, blitzing the 11-race programme to record a quartet of wins and his most successful afternoon as a jockey in Hong Kong.
Doleuze has ridden plenty of trebles during his time, including one last month on May 16, but the four-timer had eluded the popular Frenchman until yesterday.
'I rode five winners at a Macau meeting once, but never more than three in Hong Kong,' Doleuze said. 'It was an amazing day, really, I don't have many days where I can't remember all my winners straight away, but it was terrific to have it all fall into place.'
Doleuze can be forgiven for his momentary amnesia after a super day in the saddle, which included wins on Lightning Mount, Noble De Best, Nice King and Athenium - and in process going on to win the Jockey Challenge by race nine on 52 points.
Doleuze combined with trainer Sean Woods for a double, but was most impressed by Athenium, a horse who the stable have always had a huge opinion of. 'Athenium is a really interesting horse, he has had a long time off, but I was so pleased with him in his last trial and to come out and win like that after a long break really gives me good hope that he is a top horse,' Doleuze said.
'I want to be on these top horses and it's important you don't miss any chance to win on them, so I was very pleased with that result in particular.'
Woods was also pleased to see his talented four-year-old show a glimpse of his true potential.
'I've made no secret of how highly I rate this horse, and I actually rated him a better Derby horse than King Dancer early on,' Woods said. 'Its been devastating to watch him strike trouble after trouble, he had a cracked pelvis, then he recovered and had a bleeding attack, so its been a long time coming but he finally got there and delivered on the track.
'I'm really looking forward to his next season, and once he steps up to 1,800 or 2,000 metres I think he will be right in his element.'
Doleuze also drove home dirt winner Lightning Mount for Woods earlier in the day and was made to earn his money by what he called a lazy horse.
'Lightning Mount is very lazy, the gate helped him enormously today, but I still had to push him all the way around the course,' Doleuze said.
Lightning Mount chalked up his second win for the season on the all-weather track, holding on to claim a head win over Sexy Baby in the Tin Mei Shan Handicap over 1,800m.
Doleuze parlayed his success with single wins for trainers Gary Ng Ting-keung and Michael Chang Chun-wai in races four and five respectively.
'Noble De Best has really improved in his trackwork the last couple of weeks and he brought that to the races today,' Doleuze said.
'It's sad to see Nice King running in Class Five, because he is a better horse than that. But he has just been held back by a few little problems, and it was good to get him back on track.'
Doleuze has a three-week holiday to recover from last night's celebrations as he begins a deferred careless riding suspension today and will resume at the meeting on June 27.
Olivier Doleuze had a day to remember at Sha Tin as his four winners' arrived at all-up odds of: 7,156-1