Pataca or Collection? It's Beadman's call
John Moore will leave the sensitive decision of Darren Beadman's choice of mounts in Sunday's City Champions & Chater Cup until the last possible minute, with one eye on the horses and the other on the weather.
Moore said yesterday that, despite pressure to declare his hand, the only commitment he would give as far as Viva Pataca and Collection are concerned on Sunday is that Weichong Marwing is booked to ride the one that Beadman does not.
'The weather could have a big bearing on the decision,' said Moore (pictured).
'We know Viva Pataca loves the softer tracks and won't have a problem with the ground, regardless of how wet it is. But with Collection, well, we're not quite so sure.
'At the moment, all I can say is that both horses are doing very well and each has pleased me since their respective races on QE II day. I think they are both suited to the 2,400 metres and it's very hard to split them.'
Moore revealed Beadman had asked him yesterday morning for some assistance in making the decision to separate the stable stars, but there is nothing he can do to sway the champion Australian jockey. 'I can't split them - the decision will be in his hands,' Moore repeated.
Accordingly, Beadman will ride the 2006 Derby winner and his 2009 counterpart in separate gallops on Thursday morning before making his final decision.
'I will find an appropriate galloping partner for each of them but they definitely won't work together,' Moore said.
'That way, Darren gets to ride them both and get a good feel of how they are and where they are at. Then he must choose one, and Marwing will take the ride on the other one.'
Viva Pataca has tackled the last three editions of the Champions & Chater, Hong Kong's traditional end-of-season weight-for-age championship.
He won it under Mick Kinane in the year of his Derby triumph, and followed up to land it again in 2007. But last year, when gunning for a hat-trick in the domestic Group One, he found Packing Winner (Douglas Whyte) too strong and connections had to be satisfied with an honourable second.
Collection won this year's Derby in a cakewalk over Thumbs Up, but then failed when taken back in distance to 1,600m in the Champions Mile.
Though Moore does not admit it publicly, running in the Champions Mile was a political decision to give Viva Pataca a clear crack at the Queen Elizabeth II and the seven-year-old gave it a great shot, though ultimately having no answer to the powerful finishing acceleration of the Luca Cumani-trained Presvis.