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First Hong Kong winner for Johan Victoire

Report: Hong Kong, Thursday

Sha Tin

FRENCH rider Johan Victoire, the rising star who is attached to Andre Fabre's stable, rode his first winner in Hong Kong aboard the Sean Woods-trained Romping at Sha Tin on New Year's Day.

A four-year-old Australian import, Romping was originally due to be ridden by Brett Doyle but he was replaced when he could not do the weight.

Victoire stepped in - and partnered Romping to a two-and-a-half-length win.

"It's a lot harder to win races here than in France," said Victoire, 22.

"The standard of the jockeys is so high here and most races are wide open.

"It's a very nice opportunity for me to be here," he added. "The races are very different from France in terms of pacing and tracks that I think I will learn a lot during these two months before I have to go back to France for the new Flat season."

Victoire's compatriot Olivier Doleuze was in trouble again with the stewards.

Having just returned from a suspension, he copped another two-meeting ban after being found guilty of careless riding in the Group 3 feature, the Chinese Club Challenge Cup.

The race went to Joy And Fun, trained by Derek Cruz and ridden by Weichong Marwing.


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