'Tony is away but he phoned to tell me to make sure I come to the races, and to bring my wife as well,' says owner Trainer Tony Millard prepared his double at Sha Tin yesterday by remote control from Europe, but at the same time proved to owner Tony Tang Wai-bun that regardless of his location, he is very much the captain of the ship. After Tang's progressive British-bred three-year-old Noble Man made mincemeat of his older rivals in the sixth event (Class 3, 1,400 metres), the owner told how Millard had phoned from England on Saturday trumpeting the colt's winning prospects. 'Tony is away at the Tattersalls yearling sales, buying some more horses, but he phoned to tell me to make sure I come to the races, and to bring my wife as well, because the horse has a very good chance,' said Tang. Tang and Millard forged a strong bond during the 2001-02 season when the South African prepared Tang's Noble Boy to win six successive races. 'Tony bought Noble Boy for us as an international sale and, with six wins, it was a very good result for us,' Tang said. 'He asked me for some help to buy this horse [Noble Man] and I was very happy to be offered the horse. We paid $1.9 million for him.' In yesterday's event, Noble Man started a heavily backed $26 favourite (having firmed from $51 at noon) and never looked a loser. Although he started slowly from his inside gate, it didn't need much encouragement from jockey Felix Coetzee to get him up on the bit and travelling into the box seat (fourth position on rails). 'He can be a bit funny in the gates and he didn't begin all that well, but was into stride quickly,' Coetzee said. 'But he's a very nice horse with a big action and I was never really concerned at any stage. I gave him a bit of room in the straight and he went to the line really well - the best part of his race was his final 200m.' Noble Man pounced on the leaders approaching the 200m and was given a conservative ride by Coetzee in the final stages, having 163/4 lengths to spare over the David Hayes-trained Spinning City (Glyn Schofield). Topweight All The Best (Anton Marcus) battled on solidly for third, a neck behind Spinning City, after enduring a wide run throughout from barrier 10. Tang had more reason to be pleased with Noble Man than just the bare result. What especially delighted him was the blue sky that came with the winning package. 'The time [1min 22.3 seconds] for 1,400m was very good, so I think this horse can go on to much better things,' he added. Noble Man was a lucky pick-up ride for Coetzee, who only gained the opportunity because regular pilot Dwayne Dunn had been given special leave by the Jockey Club to be best man at a close friend's wedding in Adelaide this weekend. Dunn actually missed two winners, because he would also have been expected to pilot Class 2 sprint winner Celestial Magic for Hayes. Millard rounded off a satisfying day when another heavily backed favourite Blue Stitch (Douglas Whyte) charged away with the final event, a Class 1 race at 1,800m. Underlining the enormous fitness benefit of racing, as distinct from gallops and trials, Blue Stitch was backing up after a useful fifth to Acrobatic over 1,600m at Sha Tin last weekend. 'He was very disappointing last week,' said Whyte. 'Tony and I both thought he'd had a good programme beforehand. He'd galloped a good 1,400m on the course proper, and come home in 21.5 seconds. We thought he was spot on. But he pulled up well from that run and worked nicely for me during the week, so we decided he should back up and that race last week has worked like a trial for him - he's turned up in top form today.' 'I hate boosting a horse and I prefer they are given the time to find their feet and find their rating but he gives me a cracker feel and he has an amazing turn of foot - the kind you need to win big races. He's flexible, too. Today, I had him closer than normal for two reasons. One, because the C+3 course was riding fast and I also thought that zip that he had last season might have disappeared somehow, and I didn't want to give them too big a start.'