Frenchman Eric Legrix endured a bitter-sweet opening to the Year of the Horse when he paired an early double with a ban for careless riding in race nine. Legrix was handed a three-day suspension - his first ban this season - after Visorhill caused interference to eventual winner Asia Rising soon after the start. He will ride on Sunday before starting the penalty, returning on February 28, but at least he had two better memories to take away from New Year's Day after winning on Forever Victory and Favourite Express. Geoff Lane was in raptures after Favourite Express' win in the third event, but was having shades of deja vu in the saddling paddock beforehand. 'I haven't had a win in seven weeks, so I was due and New Year's Day is a good day to win a race,' he said. 'A few weeks back, I had Shining Gem in a race as favourite and he pulled a shoe as we were saddling him. He pricked his foot and had to be scratched. Today, as we were saddling this guy, he loosened a plate and I was thinking here we go again.' The incident was just a minor one, and the farrier quickly fixed the plate to allow Favourite Express to take his place. 'He is a big baby, just a three-year-old and I think he has a lot of improvement in him,' Lane said and gave credit to Legrix, who was having his first experience of the horse. 'Not that he is a difficult horse. I told Eric he is a lovely ride and has some early speed, but if Medic Hero wanted to go on just to sit off him and ride him for the 1600 metres.' A high temperature was not enough to stop Dashing Winner stringing together three straight wins for trainer Peter Ng Bik-kuen as he ploughed over the top of hot favourite Chariot Of Storm to take the seventh race. While his two prior successes had been at 1,400 metres, Ng had been forced to switch the four-year-old back to the minimum trip. 'I had been planning to move him up to 1,600 metres after such strong wins in the 1,400 races,' Ng said. 'But the horse got a high temperature and I had to give a break for a week.' The freshen-up did Dashing Winner no harm and Olivier Doleuze produced him with a barnstorming finish to gather up Chariot Of Storm close to home, but the switch back in trip will be short lived. 'I will find another race and try to make it four wins straight, but it will probably be 1,400 or a mile,' Ng said. Doleuze almost refuses to leave the races without a double these days and Dashing Winner was the second half of his pair yesterday after an impressive win with Derek Cruz-trained Celebration in the fourth event. Cruz already has one very promising three-year-old in Super Blitz, and fancies the British-bred four-year-old Celebration to make a good galloper, too. 'This horse is a bit difficult to handle in the mornings, but when you get him into a race, he really looks like a nice horse for next season,' said Cruz, who is enjoying a bumper season. 'Today we saw the real Celebration and he is going to improve with experience. He doesn't like being inside horses so when he was a bit crowded the other day, he just idled down the straight and wouldn't stretch out. So I put the visor on him today, hoping it would sharpen up his concentration.' Forever Victory's trainer Alex Wong Yu-on also opened the New Year well, sealing a double with Asia Rising in the ninth. The horse was coming off an eye-catching third to Aucash and Winning Counter and Wong feels he has been a little under-rated. 'Asia Rising is probably just behind the very best horses but not far behind,' he said. 'When he ran against Aucash the other day, he was not so much as unlucky as hampered by the soft track. The kickback from the soft ground was quite strong that day and he was back in the field and getting all of it over 1,200 metres when he couldn't really keep up. Today, he had firm ground and 1,400 and he was much more comfortable.' While Forever Victory might not be in the under-rated category, he has been in the unlucky tray lately and received his reward with a hard-earned win in the opener. 'Forever Victory is a very consistent horse and, for a bleeder, you cannot ask anything more than that,' the trainer said. 'He has been racing well but without luck. Today, the luck was with me.' It was a long time coming but Charming Stride continued his good form when he finally smashed through the maiden barrier at the 16th time of asking in the second event. After stringing together two solid minor placings, Charming Stride got the motivation he needed with the application of blinkers for the first time by trainer Gary Ng Ting-keung. He never looked likely to be beaten after showing good speed to sit outside Speedy Champion early, and became the first leg of a double for jockey Basil Marcus. 'Gary told me to use his speed and hold him together with the blinkers today,' Marcus said. 'But he stayed on well out in front and I think that might have been the difference. That could be the key to him, with the others having to run at him rather than him doing the chasing.' And it was a welcome back for Steven King as he teamed with John Size to win the sixth with improving stayer Darwin. King has been in Australia for the past week, resettling his family in preparation for the end of his Hong Kong career.