Croesus and Triumph shine in Size's absence
John Size was in New York helping persuade North American racing administrators that drug-free racing should be implemented in the United States, but the writing out of his palm cards didn't take anything away from the preparation of two impressive winners in Croesus and Shining Triumph at Sha Tin.
Griffin debutant Croesus fought hard under Jockey Challenge winner Olivier Doleuze for a short-head victory over favourite Wah May Star in the opening event, before Mark du Plessis capped an eventful week in the best possible fashion by landing a win on Shining Triumph late in the day.
Du Plessis was outed for seven meetings and given a HK$75,000 fine on Thursday, and endured a nervous wait for Friday's announcement that he had been granted a Club Jockey licence for next season, before snaring a satisfying win on Shining Triumph to cap season 2010-11.
Du Plessis will now serve his suspension for the ride on Fun Heroes until the end of this term, and left Sha Tin on happy terms safe in the knowledge that he will be back in a few months time.
'To be quite honest, I really thought the timing of my suspension would count heavily against me and that today might have been my last meeting here,' Du Plessis said.
'All I've done is try and give Fun Heroes too good a ride after a good break, it didn't pan out, and I was devastated that it would cost me my chance to ride in Hong Kong when I was suspended. But thankfully the committee accepted my application and have invited me back, and that was part of the reason for the big salute on Shining Triumph,' he said.
Shining Triumph relished a switch to the dirt and the application of the tongue tie, powering away from his rivals to record a dominant 2 1/2-length win over King Of Hearts in the Positive Ageing Handicap (1,200m). 'He really loved the dirt, and certainly felt like this surface might be his favourite,' Du Plessis said.
Size used another piece of gear, this time the blinkers, on Croesus to help keep his two-year-old focussed, and reaped immediate rewards with a professional debut win from the son of Towkay.
Doleuze snared the first of his treble in the opening event and credited the young animal's fighting qualities for the success.
'I was in the same trial at Happy Valley where he trialled with Douglas Whyte - and I thought he looked a very nice horse,' Doleuze said.
'I cant believe he's only a two-year-old because he is very professional already. I know that Zac's horse is more a classic style of horse but my horse has a lot of natural speed, so I used it. His middle sectional was good and he kept on until the end.
'The other horse [Lucky Together] headed me for maybe just one stride, then my horse came back. When the second horse [Wah May Star] came, I was already pushing, pushing, and he was at his maximum but he really concentrated and fought back to win.'