FRENCH star Eric Saint-Martin finished a memorable 1998 racing year with a Sha Tin double and is setting a solid pace in the battle for this season's jockeys' championship, which could well turn into a one-horse race. Saint-Martin, a mature and confident rider whose ability has never been in doubt, is no longer beset by the temperament problems that plagued him last year and his year-end double simply continued the rich haul of winners that have come his way since September. Facile griffin winner Victory Drum (2-1) provided the totally expected first winner in the opening event on the pre-Christmas card and topweight Lord Ron (9-1) took the featured Police Cup fourth event on the programme. Saint-Martin is now on 28 winners and has established a seven-winner break which could prove hard to cut back if his present form continues. Retaining trainer Tony Cruz, also enjoying an excellent season, prepared both winners. 'It is a very nice way to end the year and now I can look forward to a holiday with my girlfriend and my baby girl,' said Saint-Martin. 'So far it has all been going very well for me and I am very happy with that. 'I hoped maybe that it might have been a treble because Lord Of Warriors in the last race looked a big chance for me. But it was quite a lot of weight. 'Victory Drum is a nice young horse and he won his race well. 'He had the experience from his first run and that was a help,' he added. Also weighing-in with a double and continuing his highly impressive winter stint was reigning British champion jockey Kieren Fallon. The Irish ace has settled in very quickly in his second stint here but his winning rides on SAR Tourism (35-1) and Grand Start (17-1) were not official before two visits to the inquiry room. The first hearing was called by the stewards after the Fallon-ridden head winner had bumped his Ivan Allan-trained stablemate and favourite, Sterling Star (2-1), in the straight. Fallon had clearly made every effort to keep SAR Tourism clear but he did hang in over Sterling Star, which made for a lengthy hearing. But the result stood. Sterling Star finished third in the Class Three, 1,400-metre event with topweight King Confident (14-1) taking second place. The back-to-back double was completed on Grand Start, trained by Gary Ng Ting-keung, who hit the line three-quarters of a length clear of fast-finishing topweight Gallant Blossom (4-1), ridden by Felix Coetzee. Gallant Blossom struck trouble at the top of the straight, with Treble Gold moving out as Fallon made his race-winning move. It cost the grey ground but the objection was rightly overruled. Saint-Martin's win in the Police Cup was a solid effort as Lord Ron was poorly drawn in the 1,400-metre event and was giving away weight to other fancied runners. Fallon's hopes of completing a running treble were dashed when last-start winner and leading chance Happy Champ was withdrawn at the start, lame off-fore. Lord Ron has won his races by laying up on a good pace and finding that little turn of foot that can take him clear in a winning move. The horse has been admirably consistent this season and Saint-Martin put him sweetly through halfway down the straight. Regular Win (6-1), deserted by Fallon after a last-start success, tried to join issue under Gary Stevens but the winner was much too strong and the American star had to settle for a second placing. But he did get his first Hong Kong winner this stint - in the final race of the year. Stevens kept Sweetheart (10-1) hard at it in the concluding stages of the Classes One and Two, 1,600-metre event. There was a hard-fought neck in it at the finish with Sweetheart getting the better of Mughal Prince (5-1) and game topweight Lord Of Warriors (9-2).