Just what the Doctor ordered for Guyon
It was 'monkey off the back' time for both Royal Doctor and his French jockey Maxime Guyon, with the troubled six-year-old sprinter finally winning his first local race and breaking the ice for the rider's current stint as well.
Guyon enjoyed a nice debut here a year ago, but had had 44 rides without success this time around before he climbed aboard the Sean Woods-trained Royal Doctor, and the young rider admitted it had been playing with his mind.
'I don't think it was my fault, it was just the way things happened, but I was wondering when it would change,' said Guyon, who had been a 90-1 chance early in the day to win the Jockey Challenge, but took the honours with the victory and a handful of placings. 'I don't know if it helped me, what happened with Ambitious Dragon when I first came, but there was nothing I could do about that. Andre Fabre is my boss in France, so I had no choice about getting off Ambitious Dragon to ride Byword.'
While Guyon had been waiting to win his first this time around, Royal Doctor has been waiting considerably longer, with 13 starts for five seconds, two thirds and two fourths since arriving over two years ago, though he is lightly raced for his age.
On his record he has defeats by the likes of Entrapment and Leading City, along with injuries to both front suspensory ligaments.
Guyon has a suspension coming up next week and he won't be on his own, with countryman Mickael Barzalona, champion jockey Douglas Whyte and British rider Neil Callan all in trouble with the stewards.
Barzalona caught two days (January 7-12) for Grey Whizz in race two, Whyte three days (January 2-12) for an incident in the final stages with King Mossman in race nine and Callan two days (January 2-9) for his effort on Compact Yarn in race four.
And they will join Matthew Chadwick, Alex Lai Hoi-wing, Jeff Lloyd and Brett Prebble on the bench.