Moore in no rush to pit victorious White Jade against the top stars
Trainer John Moore will be hoping to at least emulate last year's Panasonic Cup winner with White Jade after the gelding made a one-act affair of the feature yesterday.
Twelve months ago, Thumbs Up landed the Panasonic Cup with 116 pounds, and White Jade (Howard Cheng Yue-tin) was no less impressive as he never looked like losing with just a few pounds less.
'At the weights, I told the owner that I thought White Jade should win if he got the right run through the race and that's how it turned out,' Moore said.
'Once again, we've got Darren Beadman to thank, even though he wasn't riding White Jade because he couldn't make the light weight. Darren said to me after the first-up run that side winkers might make a difference to White Jade - he's been looming in races and not quite going on with it and he thought the winkers would focus him without making him overrace, which blinkers might have done. He was spot on.'
The key to the 1,400m race was in the early stages, where Cheng quickly had White Jade into the box seat, and the race broke perfectly for the three-year-old from there.
Of course, there was a difference with yesterday's victory as Thumbs Up had taken out the Panasonic Cup over 1,600m in 2008, before landing the Group One Classic Mile in the spring and going on to be one of top classic horses.
But with White Jade turning four years old in under two months, the Classic Mile also looms as an obvious target for Moore.
'The race was 1,400m today so he's won at 1,400m, but I don't have much doubt that he'll get a strong mile as well,' said Moore, who previously won the race with River Jordan in 2007.
'I'll see what the programme offers him now that he'll be rated over 100, but I'm not in any hurry to send him up against the top horses yet. In fact, I'm happy to let White Jade make his way forward at his own speed, with a nice progression and then we'll look towards some good races with him next year.'
Fleet Command was honest in defeat along with third-placed Galen Win, while the winner's stablemate, Sunny King, didn't have the best of luck.
The Cup does not carry Group status, but has been an important pointer to major races in the past, with its 11 previous winners, including Group One performers Special, Best Of the Best, Electronic Unicorn, Hong Kong Sprint hero All Thrills Too and Planet Ruler.