Sometimes it takes a while to pay someone back. When top jockey Michael Rodd dismounted from Vatican, the all-the-way winner of the listed Doveton Stakes at Caulfield, he smiled broadly at trainer Byron Cozamanis.
It didn't look all that unusual - after all, most riders and trainers are on good terms with themselves and each other when they come home first.
Rodd had even more reason to smile as this was a lucky pick-up ride as Vatican's regular jockey, Billy Egan, was stood down after a race fall at Moonee Valley on Friday night and Cozamanis had only phoned him later that night.
But, as Rodd cryptically suggested after weighing in, journalists should ask Cozamanis what happened the last time he had ridden for him.
''Don't remind me,'' the Caulfield-based handler said. ''It was a race at Flemington on Cup day the year Michael won the Cup [on Efficient in 2007]. We had a horse running for $2 million in a 1400-metre race two races after the Cup. He came to the outside fence - he had been given instructions to do so - and he ran third at 40-1.''
The horse in question was Aztec Smytzer. Rodd explained that he had been given instructions to come wide to the fence and had been given the bird by racegoers for doing so. ''It was a strange day. I had won the Cup, but then copped that flak …''
Stewards actually opened and adjourned an inquiry into the instructions on the day.
There was no need for any such inquest on Saturday as Rodd bounced Vatican ($5.50), who shouldered a hefty 60 kilogram burden, into the lead and rode a well-judged race to land the spoils from favourite Loveyamadly ($3.70) by a length and three quarters.
Stephen Theodore's Don't Get Excited ($4.40) has given him plenty to cheer about in recent months.
The progressive four-year-old made it seven wins from his 14 career starts when he too shouldered 60 kilograms in the National Jockeys Trust Handicap to win narrowly but convincingly under Jamie Mott who, appropriately, was wearing the white colours with national jockeys trust logo carried by all top weights.
Mott experienced the ups and downs of the sport within 80 minutes, as he was on the ground following the fall of Zuma Roc in the last race. Stewards said he was sitting up and conscious shortly afterwards.
■The Oliver Foundation, which provides support to fallen jockeys and their families, will become part of the National Jockeys Trust. The foundation was established in 2003 by champion jockey Damien Oliver in memory of his father, Ray, and brother, Jason, who were both killed in racetrack falls. Oliver presented the NJT Trustees with a cheque for $15,120 at Caulfield on Saturday.
■Gai Waterhouse's dream of putting on the style at Royal Ascot with Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente will have to wait after the horse's owners opted to stay home and chase the riches on offer in Australia.
Waterhouse had planned to take the stallion back to the country where he had spent the earlier years of his career with trainer Sir Michael Stoute.
But after a meeting of the horse's owners the decision was made to remain at home, where the prizemoney, particularly for The Championships in Sydney in the autumn, is almost irresistible.
Fiorente will be aimed at the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Sydney in the autumn before returning for the Melbourne spring.