All's well with Viva Pataca, but Mosse waits for doctor's clearance
Trainer John Moore reports all is well with Viva Pataca since his arrival in the desert for this Saturday's Dubai Sheema Classic.
'He lost about 10 pounds on the flight over,' Moore said. 'He is eating and drinking well and I would like to see him put that back on by Saturday.'
Also Dubai-bound, despite his tribulations yesterday, is Floral Pegasus' jockey Gerald Mosse, who stood down from his rides after a barrier incident in the opening race yesterday that left him with a painful arm.
Mosse was cleared of injury at hospital and will seek a clearance today to ride in the Dubai Duty Free on Saturday night.
Trainer Francis Lui Kin-wai was giving all the plaudits from afar to winning jockey Howard Cheng Yue-tin as he watched Billion put on a reversal to win the Tai Hing Handicap (1,400m).
Billion had been a strong fancy to win on the dirt last time but failed to live up to those expectations and was ignored in betting yesterday, but Lui said, from the Magic Million yearling sale, the victory owed a lot to Cheng's smart handling.
'Firstly, it was a conditional race for horses who had not won this season, so it wasn't a strong race, but Howard made the winning move by going to the lead when the middle of the race was quite slowly run,' Lui said.
'Billion is more of a staying type of a horse so he had the stamina to handle working around them wide to get to the front.'
Billion was the first leg of a long-odds double for Cheng, who also landed Glenealy Star for Dennis Yip Chor-hong.
Andreas Schutz had not expected it to take so long but Investar (Eric Saint-Martin) was able to lead all the way to break through for his first win in the Class Five over 1,200m.
'In his early trials he had looked quite good and he finished fourth in his debut race,' Schutz said. 'But he has had some problems since with field shyness when running between horses and really never progressed.
'So a couple of starts back, we decided to lead with him and see if it made a difference and we got a much better run out of him at Happy Valley. So that's been the plan with him since and today he didn't get a lot of pressure on him in front and was able to keep going.
'He is still only lightly raced, his owner has been very patient and I'm hoping this win might build Investar's confidence.'