Chief steward Kim Kelly emerged unscathed from his first season in the hot seat - but he had his moments. The end of April saw Kelly put to his sternest test, when the odds-on defeat of Collection in the QE II Cup brought a reflex-action outpouring of scorn from the betting public. Many journalists hitched their wagon to it, calling for Kelly's (pictured) sacking or the cat o' nine tails, or both, over his failure to take action against Darren Beadman. There were two cough medicine positives for jockeys, and Marco Chui Kwan-lai tested positive again to ketamine in February, only months after finishing a six-month ban for his first offence. That probably warranted a social worker as much as a stipe, but Chui landed the biggest penalty of the season with a 12-month disqualification. If Kelly's reign could be characterised by anything in particular after one term, then a fresh application of common sense might have been it. When several horses were withdrawn from races in September after testing pre-race positive to testosterone, no penalties were handed out. Kelly said the pre-race screening had done its job. But the real source of work for a panel which saw Steve Railton join it for the first time, was the apprentice jockeys. Not so much Matthew Chadwick, although his fall in October and some unconscious moments on the track gave the stipes something to think about, but the boys who finished as the leading juniors - Keith Yeung Ming-lun, Derek Leung Ka-chun and Ben So Tik-hung. Yeung was able to win 30 winners and take the junior title, despite spending 27 days suspended only because So (27 wins and 23 days) and Leung (25 wins and 26 days), matched him in the stewards' room. Their 76 days out formed a significant part of the total 235 days banked, with Leung's 10-day reckless riding penalty after causing the most spectacular fall all year. Mostly careless riding, Yeung's bans also included lying to a trainer and failing to follow instructions on Noble Zoom, while So got an eight-day riding and handling ban for Super Fortune. The boys were in the thick of things, playing central roles in some of the more eyebrow-raising races, and Yeung and So admitted living under the same roof at the apprentices' hostel, they discussed their rides before every meeting. At international time, stewards and veterinary staff deserved a good mention after Vision D'Etat's Hong Kong Cup win. Reported lame the day before, the French-trained three-year-old might easily have been withdrawn. Common sense prevailed, on the advice of trainer Eric Libaud and the vets the issue had subsided sufficiently for the colt to race, and Vision D'Etat won.