Watch the video of Eric Saint-Martin riding in the final two races at Sha Tin on Sunday and it's easy to see why rival jockeys rate him among the best in the world. Then watch the stewards' patrol footage from race three on the same programme to find the flaw in the genius. As much as this column would want a top-quality jockey like Saint-Martin to continue in Hong Kong, he is in a pretty pickle of his own making and from which he may not emerge. And while the man himself might like to blame claimer Paul Lo Pak-hin for pushing him beyond the line of tolerance on Sunday, unfortunately that argument is unlikely to cut it with the appeals panel. Just as 'she made me do it' is not acceptable as the wife basher's defence, neither is the mitigation argument Saint-Martin must surely attempt to raise as he takes this matter to appeal in the coming weeks. The brilliant French jockey is now in a terrible position for no other reason than his inability to harness that renowned fiery nature. In the middle of this year, Saint-Martin agreed to accept a licence with the Jockey Club with a rare proviso - one tailor-made for him after he had been found guilty of a third improper riding charge during 2007-08 - that any future major charge could see him face a 'show cause' hearing. In layman's terms, a show-cause hearing means a jockey or trainer has sufficient performance or conduct issues against his name to have his licence withdrawn, and the hearing gives him one last chance to raise a case for its retention. In other words, it's the final roll of the dice, and they are not standard playing dice. Having said all that, Saint-Martin has played unlucky. In what is almost certainly the most professional race-riding environment in the world, he found himself on the inside of a jockey who is the least successful in town and on this occasion riding to an improper standard, bordering on dangerous. In fact, it could be argued that Lo - still claiming seven pounds despite being well out of his apprenticeship - does not merit a freelance jockey's licence and that argument will almost certainly be aired before the end of this season. Lo's mount, Storm's Destiny, was 'all over' Saint-Martin's mount, Chater De Lago, in much the same, equally unacceptable way Ioritz Mendizabal was 'all over' Douglas Whyte in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup. The difference was that Whyte kept his cool and left the judgment and punishment to the wise men in the stewards' room and was not let down, with Mendizabal walking away with a substantial suspension and his ears ringing. Even if it was instinctive rather than premeditated - an angry streetfighter swing rather than a designed boxer's punch - Saint-Martin took matters into his own hands. And for whatever fate now holds in store for the Frenchman, he's a lot better off than he'd have been if Lo had been felled and badly injured. If that had happened, the proverbial Pandora's box would yawn open and the questions Saint-Martin would have faced might have included one from his insurance company, challenging his right to any financial protection from Lo since the fall resulted from an incident deemed by the professionals of the business - the stipes - as improper.