Former French stayer Mentor finally lived up to all the promises he made Jockey Club chairman Alan Li Fook-sum when he broke his Hong Kong maiden in style with the P & O Challenge Cup at Happy Valley last night. The narrow victory gave trainer Ivan Allan a double after earlier taking the fifth event with lightly-raced Triccolo (Weichong Marwing). 'I thought the chairman only wanted to enter the horse for this race because he has friends at P & O,' Allan quipped after Mentor (Eddie Lai) held off the fast-finishing Don Sebastian to put his first win on the board. 'But truthfully, I want to say that I have had some luck with Eddie Lai on my horses and he rode exactly as instructed tonight. His ride was a big factor in the win.' With Lai able to ride him at his allotted handicap of 113 pounds, Mentor received 17 pounds from the runner-up and every ounce counted in the desperately tight finish. Li's son, Dominic, said the win had been a long time coming but said Mentor had not really been disappointing to the chairman and his family in his previous 13 starts. 'If you ask me he is a typical northern hemisphere horse coming to Hong Kong - he has taken a year to acclimatise properly and he is only just now coming into form,' he said. 'Really, although he hasn't won, he has been pretty solid, already paid for himself and he can probably win again. He is on the improve and at least now I don't have to run away and hide.' Dominic Li was instrumental in the purchase of Mentor by his father, having followed the horse's fortunes during his racing career in France. 'I was actually the underbidder on him when he was sold as a yearling and then he went to a trainer friend of mine in France,' the younger Li revealed. 'So I followed his racing career there quite closely and when he went up for sale as a three-year-old, we were actually able to buy him fairly cheaply. A lot of people see him as being a one-paced sort of horse, but he has just appeared that way due to the way some of his races have turned out. Actually, I think he is probably showing a better turn of foot than you might have expected.' The light handicap was a boon for Mentor and Lai but bad luck for Eric Legrix last night, as he was unable to ride the stayer after being aboard at his last two outings. Li said Legrix had been quite upbeat about the horse after finishing third on him at Sha Tin on January 26. The John Size bandwagon continued to roll along at Happy Valley, with Winning Dragon the beneficiary of a dashing Robbie Fradd ride to score his second win in four starts. 'Gee I rode that well. John has done a fine job training him and I thought the ride was good too,' laughed Fradd, but there was no shortage of supporters for the idea as the three-year-old cleared out with the evening's nightcap. Carrying the Electronic Unicorn colours, Fradd rode Winning Dragon like he had lengths on the field last night despite his outside gate in the field of 12. Beginning quickly, he took advantage of the early speed set by Super Fast and got a cart across to be in the first three in the run to the turn. 'It was certainly a very aggressive ride,' an impressed Size agreed. 'The leader helped to bring him across a little but Robbie did a great job to overcome the barrier.' Size said Winning Dragon has taken very quickly to racing, and to Hong Kong-style racing in particular. 'He is a very professional racehorse who has clicked into gear very quickly. It isn't easy to win two out of four, especially here. You know it is something, how certain breeds just thrive here,' he said. 'Snippets is a good stallion in Australia but he is a much better one in Hong Kong. There are probably a few theories but I think as much as anything else it has to do with attitude of his progeny. Nothing bothers them, they have a great temperament for the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong.' The race was the end in Hong Kong for another talented horse, however, with runner-up Black Magic (Shane Dye) suffering his second bleeding attack. 'It's a great shame because he really can gallop and I reckon he would have a future in America because bleeders can race on treatment there,' said Dye, whose night had begun in better fashion when he won the third on Nazakat II for Francis Lui Kin-wai.