John Moore continued his sparkling start to the new season as he piled a double yesterday on top of last weekend's treble to be flavour of the season so far.
'I changed temples this season, that must be it,' beamed Moore, after he combined with South African Anton Marcus to bring home comeback horse Strong Sun in the first race and then followed up three races later with a minor surprise in Kowloon Star.
'It's great and particularly with a couple of horses who have some scope for the future,' Moore said. 'Strong Sun looked a beaten horse to me but just kept coming on to win and that gives you some encouragement.'
Beautifully-bred Strong Sun's future looked anything but rosy at one stage soon after his maiden win last December, when the International Sales graduate lashed out at a fence and was soon very sore and sorry.
'He was sore within days and when we had him checked over we found a hairline fracture of the tibia bone,' Moore said. 'And that's why he had nine months off.
'The bone has calloused up now and the injury won't come back, unless he kicks another fence, and he's a horse who is going on to better things and especially over a bit further now.'
Moore pointed to the gelding's classical British pedigree, which includes form in Oaks events over a mile and a half. 'The interesting thing about his pedigree is that the best ones in the family are the fillies, but Strong Sun doesn't really look like a colt,' Moore said.
Moore's second winner was not unexpected by the stable after some good lead-up trackwork but left French jockey Gerald Mosse with a bitter taste in his mouth after being disallowed the ride on Kowloon Star by stewards.
Last season, stewards sought an undertaking from Mosse for the sake of his health that he would not take rides at 120 pounds or less after he had wasted to do so and finished a race distressed.
With 120 pounds allotted by the handicapper in yesterday's race, Kowloon Star was on that mark, but Mosse said he was very disappointed about the application of the usual rules on overweights.
'It isn't fair and has cost me a winner. I rode Successful Spirit at 122 pounds today and so I could have ridden Kowloon Star two pounds over on 122 without a problem,' he said. 'Everyone here gets to post two pounds overweight, so why can't I put up two pounds to bring the horse into my weight range? I am not asking for any special favours, but the rules should be the same for everyone on this. I should have been able to ride Kowloon Star at 122 pounds but they told me I could not ride it.'
Instead Marcus was seen to the fore, leading throughout as the Irish-bred gelding spun his form on its head.
'He's a much better horse since he was gelded and Anton, Mosse and work rider Stephen Jeffries have all commented on the change,' Moore said.
'He has improved out of sight in his work since he was cut - and the cut in the ground probably didn't hurt him today either.'