HIS enforced absence from the saddle has obviously whetted Wendyll Woods' appetite for winners as he proved again at Sha Tin yesterday with a polished double.
Woods landed the low-grade third event with Add More (4-1) and then brought up the twosome in the seventh race with Top Practitioner (4-1 favourite) on whom he gave an impeccable display.
It was strength and patience that got Add More home in a 1,400-metre event where there was little evidence from others competing of fighting spirit and determination.
Add More battled on better than most and it took the last of Woods' vigour to get him up in a desperately tight three-way photo with topweight Speedy Runner (10-1) and Intrepid Star (16-1), who looked all but home 50 metres out.
Top Practitioner was winning only his third race with the first of those a long time ago for Neville Begg as a griffin.
But he had come down into Class Five and put in a quality run last time out at the Valley for Australian Glen Boss when Woods was still convalescing in Newmarket from the operation on his neck.
Top Practitioner and Woods made it all look easy in the Class Five, 1,400-metre event where We Got It (10-1) was second best.
Well-placed in the run, Woods simply angled out Top Practitioner at the top of the straight and it was over in seconds.
Said Woods: 'It's been great since coming back. I had the early winner on my first day and now a double.
'I was confident that Top Practitioner would run really well. I had seen his last run and he had come on a bit at the track since that. He jumped well for me and we were coasting off the pace.
'I knew barring accidents I had to be there. The first one was desperately close. I thought we were out of it about a furlong out but he picked up a bit and I kept at him.'