THEY braved the driving rain in their thousands for the annual Ladies' Day at Sha Tin yesterday where local lass Sherie Kong stole the limelight. Kong, the path-breaking first girl apprentice to ride in the territory and now in her second full season, made all the running on Niagara Falls in the opening event to finally record her first winner and start the day on a perfect note for the ladies. But winners were then conspicuous by their absence for visiting New Zealand jockey Lisa Cropp or for England's Emma O'Gorman, though to be fair they didn't have strong rides. Cropp intends to be back if at all possible and will be applying for a Club Jockey position. 'I will be asking the Jockey Club if there is a slot left sometime this season and failing that the first three months of next season would be an ideal time for me,' confirmed Cropp who has ridden with considerable success in Sydney and Japan as well as her native New Zealand with over 450 winners to her name. Kong was thrilled to capture that elusive first winner: 'I knew I was going well in front but I dare not look back at any stage in case it affected my horse. When we went past the post I just felt so happy.' But she opted for a low-key celebration. 'I will just have dinner at home with my family,' she said. 'It has been a very happy day and I want to share it with them.' Despite the inclement weather which hung over Sha Tin for most of the programme, some 74,218 made it to the tracks (split 65,514 at the New Territories venue and 8,704 at Happy Valley) as the incentives offered to attract female racegoers paid dividends. Ladies were admitted free, as were their male companions, and they were each given a free $30 food and drink voucher plus a souvenir. The 74,000-plus also saw a future star, the Patrick Biancone-trained Deauville, make a winning reappearance to move his record to four wins from five starts. The Group One-placed Mr Vitality is the only horse to have beaten him. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong-owned Danewin yesterday had joint owner Sunny Yam in raptures after capturing the prestigious Group One Caulfield Stakes in Melbourne under Damien Oliver. 'It was a brilliant win. Now for the Cox Plate, the Japan Cup and hopefully the Dubai World Cup,' Yam enthused.