Hong Kong star Viva Pataca for Cox Plate
6 JuneBy Rob Burnet www.thoroughbrednews.co.nz
Hong Kong trainer John Moore confirmed on Wednesday that he is dispatching two stars from his stable to Melbourne for the 2007 Tattersalls Cox Plate (2040m) the target of the campaign.
Moore will send five-year-old Viva Pataca (Marju), the winner of Sunday’s HK Group I Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup (2400m), the third leg of the Hong Kong Triple Crown Series, along with third place getting and stable-mate Viva Macau to Melbourne.
“If everything goes well up to August with them we will send him down with his work-mate in the second or third week of August,” said Moore.
“At the moment we are trying to get Australian staff together as I will not send my stable staff. We will have two weeks at Sandown and then shift to Caulfield.
“He has taken time to hit his straps as he had a virus which took its toll. I have been very patient with him and it has paid off,” he said.
Moore’s stable had a virus earlier in the Hong Kong season from UK horses who entered the stable.
Viva Pataca and Michael Kinane - picture Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Moore said that he would look at the Underwood Stakes and Yalumba Stakes as led-up races for Viva Pataca to the Tattersalls Cox Plate. He would also look for suitable races for Viva Macau who, he said, was looking for softer tracks than those raced on in Hong Kong.
Viva Pataca has staked his claim for a handful of titles when he thrashed Hong Kong’s highest-rated horse Vengeance Of Rain at Sha Tin on Sunday and shattered the 2400-metre course record that had stood for 13 years.
Given a masterful ride by Michael Kinane, who had arrived from London only 100 minutes before the start of the race, Viva Pataca proved his victory over Vengeance Of Rain in the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup was no flash in the past, coming from behind to pace to win drawing away by three and three-quarters length. Vengeance Of Rain held for second with Viva Macau boxing on gamely for third placing.
Both Viva Pataca and Viva Macau are owned by Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho Hung Sun.
Kinane said after the race that he would ride Viva Pataca anywhere Moore lined him up in the world, but Cox Plate Day is the same day as the Breeders' Cup in the USA and even Kinane's travelling will not get him from one meeting to the other.
Moore said that he expected that Kinane would have committments to either Coolmore's Aidan O'Brien, or the Aga Khan at the Breeders' Cup
However, Moore mentioned that he would be very happy with either Darren Beadman or Damien Oliver, also mnetioning that Beadman was straight on the phone after the win on Sunday to congratulate him.
'I don't know what there riding engagements will be but I would be veyr happy with either Darren or Damien,' he said.
'When Darren is available I love to have him up here,' he added.