Dramatic strides on the track offset by falling revenue as Hong Kong's finest make their mark on the world stage It was another year of falling turnover, but a season when Hong Kong racing produced the world's best turf sprinter and the first century of wins and Tony Cruz and Felix Coetzee lifted big trophies at will. The term opened with a possible Hong Kong Jockey Club buyout of Macau slipping out of sight, as did the inquiry into how Cupid turned up last season with a heroin positive, which ended with no finding. A typhoon prevented the first Happy Valley meeting but the first eight-nation signing of the Good Neighbour Policy went ahead. We said goodbyes, and the racing world was shocked by the sudden death of Alan Li Fook-sum in late December. The former Hong Kong Jockey Club chairman and architect of the International meeting, suffered a heart attack. Geoff Lane retired to train in Macau, Eddie Lo Kwok-chow retired to a desk and Ivan Allan retired for the sake of his sick mum, but still left fighting when vets would not clear Olympic Express to race. Popular rider, Weichong Marwing left in December over 'personal issues' but, on the plus side, trainer Caspar Fownes made a stunning entry including a rare five-timer in January. Douglas Whyte also managed a five-timer on his way to 106 wins after turning the jockeys' race into a walkover by the second month and won by the biggest margin since Tony Cruz won by 39, 18 years ago. But Whyte's early success brought on what he described as a jealous 'whispering campaign', that didn't stop when his hot winning streak ran cold. Whyte mentioned fellow riders Robbie Fradd and Wendyll Woods, and trainer Sean Woods, as he asked anyone with a criticism to make it public, but the Jockey Club revealed it was making its own investigations into 'various matters' - and finally found that nobody had a case to answer. Falls were rarer and less serious, though that didn't mean an easy year for Jamie Stier's stipes, who took flak over their handling of Shane Dye, and Stier was forced to deny the rider was working under different rules to rivals. Disciplinary matters were mostly careless ridings, though Howard Cheng Yue-tin copped nine days for his handling of My Fortune, and Jamie Spencer a $50,000 fine for his handling of Christophe Soumillon. We had to wait until May for Glyn Schofield's six-months improper riding ban, with stipes hinting at murky motivations. His appeal is heard tomorrow. America's Sarafan scratched with a potential positive before the internationals and trainers Lane, Cruz and Shum were all fined over a drug used in a stomach-ulcer treatment. His own cocaine positive in the past, the showman was back, with Olivier Doleuze back riding in Hong Kong but others were not as happy to be here. English riders Martin Dwyer and Steve Drowne packed their bags for Old Blighty after a total of 30 rides. The relationship between the Jockey Club and its Macau counterpart continued unsteadily, but there were outward signs of co-operation when Macau was included in Good Neighbour and Crown's Gift made bookends of the crossport races, but we are still waiting for the simulcast betting. On the track, Falbrav's swansong in December made the hairs stand up on your neck, Silent Witness was relentlessly awesome and the unexpected comeback of Electronic Unicorn thrilling. The Derby came of age when Lucky Owners bridged the racing and breeding worlds with outstanding success before heading off to stud in Australia. Cruz and Coetzee had only one flop - Multidandy in Dubai - but their other efforts turned everything to gold. Seven Group Ones, two internationals, the Derby, a record $90 million prizemoney, personal bests for both - but still they could not stop John Size's dominance and his third straight trainer's title. His regular partner, jockey Shane Dye, had a more mixed year. On horseback he did fine, but in the media he was criticised for inconsistency, in punter surveys he was criticised for inconsistency, in the Jockey Club he was criticised for too-consistently riding Size horses. And to top it all, he was carted away by police after an altercation with his partner of some years but wife of just eight days, Emma. The Jockey Club started the year with the world's biggest Diamond Vision Screen, introduced Stride timing at last, lifted the mobile phone ban in February, but will have to wait until later this year to add the next level of on-course service - the new paddock at Sha Tin. They say you can see it from the moon. Or you will next season.