Quartet dominate Group One races on opening day of spring carnival in Victoria Former Hong Kong club jockeys won four Group One races at Flemington yesterday in front of a record crowd of 129,089 on the opening day to the Victoria Racing Club's spring carnival. Although Chris Munce took the day's honours with a Group One double for top Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse, the toast of the town was young Queenslander Michael Rodd, who brilliantly captured the Victoria Derby on favourite Efficient. Craig Williams completed the 'Hong Kong set', taking the Group One Myer Classic for fillies and mares on 20-1 chance Lyrical Bid, trained by Brian Mayfield-Smith. Efficient was ridden in ice-cool manner by Rodd, who was riding in Hong Kong at this time last year where his major wins were two feature races on the John Moore-trained sprinter Able Prince. He balanced Efficient some 16 lengths off the leader, Spring Champion Stakes hero Teranba, and was still well back coming to the home turn and locked behind a horse that was going nowhere. Rodd persisted for a rails run and when one ultimately presented itself, Efficient bounded into the gap and quickly ate up the margin before switching around the heels of the three leaders inside the 200-metre mark. Once Efficient saw daylight, his brilliant acceleration put the Derby away in a heartbeat, with the Zabeel youngster racing away to score by 21/4 lengths from Gorky Park, a Montjeu three-year-old trained by David Hayes and ridden by Dwayne Dunn. Rodd was lured to Melbourne on the promise to be number-one rider for big owner Lloyd Williams, whose string is trained by Graeme Rogerson. Rodd's win was also a personal triumph, because one particular element in the parochial Melbourne press had savaged him over his ride on Williams' stayer Activation in the Caulfield Cup two weeks ago. 'The plan from Mr Williams was to stay close to the rail and don't leave the fence until I really had to,' Rodd told AAP. 'But once he switched around heels and levelled out, he made them look second rate. 'I felt the pressure this week and was a bit nervous and a bit excited, but once I got in the saddle I was OK.' Munce won the Group One Mackinnon Stakes (2,000m) on the bold front-running galloper Desert War, who had been specifically set for the race after finishing second to Racing To Win in the Epsom Handicap in Sydney four weeks earlier. Munce, who is riding with a Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption court case hanging over his head, later completed a feature race double for Waterhouse when Dance Hero took the Salinger Stakes down the straight 1,200m course. The Hong Kong-owned four-year-old Growl enhanced his chance of being selected for the Hong Kong Vase with a brave second to Desert War in the Mackinnon Stakes. Before this, Growl's best performance had been to win a Group Two handicap over 2,400m but a set-weights second behind such an established performer as Desert War will certainly boost his chances of being among the international invitees next month. Growl is prepared by David Hayes but will be left in Hong Kong after the Vase, and will transfer to the yard of Hayes' long-time right-hand man, Almond Lee Yee-tat.