Best Fit proved a good omen for the remainder of Tony Cruz's afternoon, with the popular trainer later claiming training honours with a double, capped by star miler Beauty Flash in the Group One Stewards' Cup.
The debutant Best Fit travelled sweetly under Matthew Chadwick throughout the opening event and fought hard to hold onto a short head win over China Good, with just a short head away to Cheetah Boy in a thrilling three-way finish to the Billion Win Handicap (1,000m) It was a victory that pleased Cruz no-end and has the trainer confident his new acquisition will progress rapidly through the lower grades.
'I'm sure he will improve a huge amount for that win not just in terms of fitness, but also from the race experience,' Cruz said. 'It was a good strong win on debut, but I have a feeling that this horse is yet to fully mature, and there seems to be plenty of potential there.
'For that reason I want to keep him at the 1,000 metres again and give him another run before we start thinking of longer races with him.'
Chadwick fought tooth and nail to land the win, pushing the boundaries too far, according to stewards, who fined him $40,000 and suspended him for two meetings on a charge of careless riding approaching the 600m mark of the race.
Chadwick will miss the two meetings set down for February 9 and 12.
Gerald Mosse, who later won the Group One race aboard Cruz's Beauty Flash, was also suspended for two days in the opening event, after incurring a charge of careless riding on race favourite, The Prince.
His suspension was deferred until after the Dubai Racing Club meeting on February 18, and Mosse will miss the race days scheduled for February 20 and 23. It was a busy evening for the stipes, and Jacky Tong Chi-kit was also handed a two meeting suspension for his ride on Impeccable in the final event.