Stewards end Doleuze's winning streak as he cops two-day ban
Olivier Doleuze has been unstoppable, riding eight winners at the past six meetings, but the stewards will put a halt to his momentum after suspending him for two meetings for his winning ride on the Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained Shibala.
Doleuze will be joined on the sidelines by Eddie Lai Wai-ming and Tye Angland next month - with all three receiving two-meeting suspensions for charges of careless riding in different races. The win on Shibala extended Doleuze's brilliant run of form and vindicated the owner's decision to persist with his galloper when the gelding broke his pelvis 18 months ago.
'The last trainer, John Moore, suggested to the owner that the horse retire, but he was very patient and wanted to try the horse again,' Man said. 'We sent him up to Beas River for a long rest to let the bone heal, and I think he has good potential to go further up the ratings if he can stay sound.'
Shibala's broken pelvis may have resulted in an 18-month absence from the track, but it wasn't enough to hold him back from a resounding first-up win - with a confident Doleuze making easy work of the wide draw to lead on the heavily supported runner.
'The gate was a concern but I thought the right move was to send him forward because he is going so well,' Doleuze said. 'Both his work in the mornings and his trials had been very good, as everyone has seen, and he will definitely go higher in the ratings if injury doesn't hold him back.'
Doleuze will miss the two meetings set down for the 19th and 23rd of January, while Lai was suspended from January 5 and 9 for careless riding on Owners' Glory and Angland will be out on the 9th and 12th for his indiscretion on Carthage in race seven.