A double on Space Race and Helene Witty and a pair of bold second placings in the feature races almost created the perfect storm for Frenchman Gerald Mosse, who made a successful visiting raid yesterday.
Mosse narrowly missed out on winning the Group One Standard Charter Champions & Chater Cup (2,400m) on the Peter Ho Leung-trained Mr Medici, and also rode a bold race on John Moore's ageing sprinter Sunny King to claim second in the Group Three Sha Tin Vase (1,200m).
'It wasn't as big as it could have been, it wasn't a bad day, but it wasn't the best day,' Mosse said. 'Space Race showed me he had good ability when I was riding him earlier this year and I rode him pretty confidently today.
'We were just off the speed, but I never let the leader [Dane Patrol] cross us, I was the first to press and he answered well all the way to the winning post.
'Space Race really answered perfectly when I asked him to sprint, he's very honest, and I think he still had some margin up his sleeve.'
In booting home a double for Tony Cruz with stablemates Space Race and Helene Witty, Mosse helped the trainer repel a charge from Moore, who also led in a pair but remains six wins behind Cruz in the title with only 11 meetings remaining.
'I like Space Race a lot and I must thank Tony for giving me such great support.
'Tony is not yet at the winning post for the trainers' title, but I definitely believe he will be hard to beat, he's a top trainer and he deserves to win, and I wish him all the best in claiming another premiership.
'He has a good team, his young horses are all racing well and he will be hard to run down before the end of the season.'
Mosse, however, has had to turn down Cruz's offer to ride Beauty Flash in Japan next Sunday as he has a prior engagement to ride in the French Derby. Weichong Marwing was the lucky man to pick up the mount and will join Brett Prebble (Thumbs Up) as Hong Kong's representatives in the Yasuda Kinen (1,600m) at Tokyo racecourse.
After driving home the heavily supported Space Race earlier in the meeting, Mosse was soon back in the winners' circle aboard stablemate Helene Witty, who broke his Hong Kong duck at start 17 after a beautifully rated front-running ride.
'Helene Witty, I used to ride pacework on this horse and he showed me he had a bit of early speed but was then quite one-paced,' Mosse said.
'Today's race turned out perfectly, we got to the front unchallenged and we didn't go too fast, but just fast enough to make sure that he's wasn't going to get run down by anything with a strong turn of foot.
'I was the first to press the button, because I knew he would stay on, and that's what he did perfectly.
'Tony was very keen for me to ride him like that, and I followed his instructions. He knows the horse very well and I had ridden him before so it was a big help in getting him to finally win today.'