Gear changes put power back into Twin Turbo
Richard Gibson may have been absent from Sha Tin yesterday, but he still made his presence felt when some astute gear changes for Twin Turbo brought about a form turnaround.
Gibson is on a well-deserved holiday and his ninth win of the term, in a Class Four (1,400m), would have added satisfaction, given the effort put into correcting Twin Turbo's erratic racing manners.
Twin Turbo came to the Englishman's yard winless after five starts, two this season, for Me Tsui Yu-sak.
Winning jockey Olivier Doleuze, who is having a decent season of his own with 17 victories, described the horse as 'confused' when he came to Gibson.
'Mentally, he was confused in a race and doing everything bad,' he said. 'He was too keen and he was hanging.'
Gear changes were part of the re-educational process for the four-year-old - firstly the removal of hood and tongue tie, and application of a crossed nose band.
A trial on the dirt displayed a calmer racehorse, but he followed that with a underwhelming ninth on the all-weather track on December 4.
'He had trialled very well and last time on the dirt was very disappointing,' Doleuze said. 'Maybe it was just the surface and a bad gate, that day all of the leading horses were winning.'
An excellent trial at Happy Valley, the removal of the crossed nose band and a more severe bit got the results this time as the horse relaxed into a perfect one-out, one-back position in the run.
'We changed everything and went with the norton bit and he was much more relaxed today,' the French rider said.
'When we trialled him at Happy Valley with the new gear and he relaxed much better. He was easier to ride and control.'
'He surprised me today in that he was really calm and that is the key for him. I think he'll be very competitive again. He will improve.'
Doleuze said the horse's improvement would come from further development of his racing manners.
'He was still a bit keen on the turn, but I had a lovely run,' he said. 'But the important thing was that when I pressed he really responded to me. With a good gate today, he confirmed what we thought we knew.'