Trainer Ivan Allan took over the headlines for a different reason at Sha Tin yesterday and used the occasion to pay tribute to the loyalty and perseverance of Hong Kong racehorse owners. Allan has filled the media this week as a central player in the Prawngate saga surrounding his star galloper, Fairy King Prawn, and the ban on his defence of the Group One Yasuda Kinen in Japan due to fears about foot-and-mouth disease. But yesterday, Allan changed his role from international agent provocateur to horse trainer with devastating effect, winning three of the opening four races and producing a star of the future. The impressive Triccolo was the middle pin of Allan's winning trio, with Sensible Way (Simon Yim) taking the opening race and Blazing Bob (Way Leung) making it home in the fourth. Yim later received a three-day ban for crossing too quickly as he went to the front on Sensible Way. 'You know, Hong Kong owners are the best in the world. The owners of this horse have had two years of disaster in waiting for this moment,' Allan declared. 'Sure there are always one or two people who have a different attitude but in general Hong Kong owners will stick with you. I salute them.' Triccolo's owners were obviously delighted at their first winner since Broadway Hit in the latter-1990s. 'Broadway Hit was a very good horse I trained for Mr and Mrs Martin Liao Cheung-kong and he only raced six or seven times and he was crucified by the handicapper after he won,' Allan recalled. 'At his seventh start, he broke down and we spent a long time trying to get him back again. The owners wanted to persist and in the end I said, 'Look this is too heartbreaking, let me buy you a good horse'.' The result is Triccolo, who left nobody in any doubt about his quality at his second start, loping along outside the leaders before he dashed when jockey Eric Saint-Martin pressed the button. 'I tried to get cover on him but from my wide barrier I couldn't,' said Saint-Martin. 'So he had to sit without cover but I had petrol in the tank on the turn and whoosh.' Allan said he had no doubt Triccolo would be a top-class horse. 'It's only his second start, he will be a much better horse next season,' Allan said. 'From 13, Eric couldn't get cover on him today but Triccolo will be better when you see him get cover.' Allan said Triccolo's next target would be a feature 1,600-metre event for first-season horses next month. Yim has picked up where he left his career four years ago, winning three races in the past week and he kicked home Allan's first winner, Sensible Way. But his race rustiness has shown up after the long break, with Yim also sailing close to the wind with the stewards. He had received two warnings prior to yesterday but three strikes was out when he crossed over too quickly on Sensible Way in the run past the 800-metre mark, where he shifted in on to Latin Dancer. It was a winning move, allowing Sensible Way to slip away on straightening before holding off a luckless Lucky Superstar but Yim paid for it later. The ban commences after Wednesday's meeting and Yim will return on May 13. Allan said Sensible Way was not destined for stardom but had his heart in the right place. 'He is genuine, the sort of horse who will go through his classes,' Allan said. 'He has made steady improvement each time he's run.' Allan wasn't expecting his third winner yesterday, Blazing Bob, and isn't expecting him again for a while, but forecast better things for the victorious apprentice jockey, Way Leung. 'This boy is great value at 10 pounds and I will be using him more on my horses,' Allan said. 'Since he came back from Australia, he is improved, stronger and he is riding very well. I told him to sit quietly hands and heels, not to go for the stick until he absolutely had to.' It was Leung's second winner since his three months in Australia and Allan said he believed the apprentice's claim had a lot to do with Blazing Bob's win. 'It's nice to win with this horse because he's a battling sort of horse,' he said. 'He's not a very good horse but this is his mark and he was well in at the weights today. It could be a while before he wins again if the handicapper puts him up.'