Flu-riddle Size gets lift up from Vitality Express and Sichuan Success
John Size might have been feeling a bit under the weather, but his gallopers, Victory Express and Sichuan Success, showed no signs of ill-health and gave the champion trainer a double dose of winning tonic.
Size had been battling a bout of flu, but bounced back to life with his double and had a spring in his step by the end of the meeting.
The aptly named Vitality Express ridden by Felix Coetzee gave the trainer his first boost, boxing on gamely for his second win.
'Vitality Express is a little bit dour as we know, but being a Zabeel, as he gets older he will keep getting stronger,' Size said. 'Felix ensured the race was run to suit and maybe his competition was not over-strong today, but for what he is he's done a good job since he's been here.
'He is continuing to put his heart into his racing and so it's great when he gets rewarded for his effort, but he goes to Class Two now and might find life a bit difficult in that grade.'
Douglas Whyte was back in the winner's circle for his own personal double after winning the last for Size on Sichuan Success, and the new premiership leader was optimistic the talented Fastnet Rock gelding has a few cards still to play.
'As I came out of the gates he gave me the indication he didn't want to be handy, and I would have had to drive him mad to get up on the pace, so I let them go,' Whyte said.
'When I did peel off 500 metres out to get going he just picked up in three strides, and once we got level with Darren Beadman and Admiration the weight difference just helped me get over the line.
'The winning move was the way he got going and he showed that he wants to be ridden more patiently, and might be looking for mile as well.'
Size was happy to see his galloper take a sit and even more delighted when he outsprinted a classy opponent in a driving finish and Jockey Challenge, which was won by Whyte on countback from Beadman.
'He was a beatable last season by good horses because his barrier manners have never been perfect,' Size said. 'His barrier habits have improved a lot, and now he stands quiet and begins well, which he wasn't doing earlier.
'Sichuan Success used to have to be hunted out of the gates and put on the pace to be sure he came out with the field, but now the jockeys are confident he'll jump, so we don't have to push early and he can lob into a position.'