Self-titled 'professional placegetter' Lawrie Fownes made it back to the winner's enclosure at the double yesterday with welcome wins from Round The World and Sparky. The brace ended a winless streak of 48 runners for the trainer, who had scored only twice before yesterday but had racked up six seconds and eight third places. 'It's been a frustrating run,' said Fownes, who gave himself the placegetter soubriquet during a particularly unlucky evening at Happy Valley recently. 'The horses have been working well and running well, but they haven't had the luck in races. We've had so many bad draws, it's been unbelievable, particularly at Happy Valley.' The trainer's cry of 'at last' following Round The World's victory was understandable, though mainly intended as a reference to the fact that the four-year-old had broken his duck at the seventh attempt. 'It's nice finally to have won with him,' said Fownes after stable jockey Wendyll Woods had guided the four-year-old to a length success over a mile. 'The key with this horse is to get him out where he can get a run. He was a bit slow out of the gates but Wendyll kept his cool and, once he got out in the straight, the horse picked up well. I wouldn't say it was easy, but it was a good, solid win. Now he's won, hopefully he'll go on from here. We'll keep him at a mile, or possibly a bit further.' Weichong Marwing was on board for Sparky's win down the straight 1,000 metres, which came by a decisive 1.75 lengths once Marwing was able to break clear and find the far rail. Sparky had run a fine second behind Desert Storm over 1,200 metres on the opening day of the season following his return from injury and there was plenty of confidence in the five-year-old, who went off at a shade over 7-1. 'His form over the straight 1,000 metres is very good and there was plenty of pace in the race, which I knew would suit him,' Fownes said. 'I told Weichong to keep him in touch until halfway and then set him alight because he would be doing his best work in the last 300 metres. He got a bit tight with My Honour at one stage but he was going to be hard to catch once he got into the lead.' Before Round The World's victory, it must have seemed like another of those days for Fownes when Hossegor, who was drawn 13, came with a strong run from the rear in the fifth race but was too late to catch Connoisseur's Bet. In a desperate finish to the opening race on yesterday's card, Faithful Assurance survived and gained a fitting reward for his honesty. 'He's been working quite well and I thought he would run well because it was a weak field,' said winning trainer Derek Cruz. 'This horse is no star but he tries very hard.' Faithful Assurance's jockey, Simon Yim Hin-keung, has made a good start to the new season but he later pleaded guilty to starting a chain reaction of interference on Sound Gallop at the 800 metres in the third event, and was banned for four days, effective immediately. Peter Ho's talented Mighty Dragon has been allowed a reprieve from compulsory retirement despite his manners at the starting gates. In the latter part of last season, Mighty Dragon left John Egan on the ground at the start of a 1,600-metre race at Sha Tin after jumping from the barriers and turning left towards the river. He was ordered to trial but has been unable to shake the habit. First trial out this season he exhibited the same problem up the straight at Sha Tin and was again a problem at Happy Valley on Saturday morning. Mighty Dragon jumped, turned left and parted company with his jockey, Eric Legrix this time, as part of an official trial heat. When he was tried again on his own, Mighty Dragon performed the same trick. Trainer Ho asked the stewards for time to sort out Mighty Dragon's problems rather than retire him and they have demanded the horse pass 'two consecutive barrier trials' before he can be considered to race again. Northern Gold Ball recently made a return after undergoing a similar test. Betting turnover broke the $1 billion mark for the second successive meeting and, with attendance also on the up, things are beginning to look rosier for the Jockey Club. Turnover for the 10-race card was $1,131,339,840, marginally up from last year's equivalent meeting, but the Sha Tin crowd was a big plus with a rise of around 30 per cent from 22,918 last year to 29,871 yesterday. Cross-betting attendance at Happy Valley was also up, from 6,697 to 7,020. The topical tip of the day at Sha Tin went down in the fifth race when Mir - who is out of a mare called Talibaan - could finish only eighth behind Connoisseur's Bet. Mir is the Russian word for peace.