With Champions Mile in the bag, Able One eyes US$1m bonus in Japan
Darren Beadman's first win in the Champions Mile aboard Able One signalled the start of a highly unlikely double for trainer John Moore, who pulled off an upset result in both international Group One races, with Viva Pataca claiming the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup 40 minutes later.
Never mind the fact that the same two horses had completed the same double in 2007, because the result seemed so unlikely that even Marty McFly and the Doc from the movie Back To The Future would have taken a second glance had they picked up the results page this year.
It was all too obvious after the event, but Able One's return to peak form was no fluke - as Moore's stakes-winning statistics show.
The stalwart trainer has made an art form of winning the biggest races, and once again showed why he is the man to follow at Group One meetings, taking the prize money he has won for his owners this season well past the HK$70 million mark.
'Able One has hit a purple patch of form right now, his last run was a very good run, and I think he's an even fitter horse today than when he won last time out,' Moore said. 'The race panned out exactly as we wanted, he showed a turn of foot, and ran nearly identical times to his previous best.'
Able One helped Hong Kong gallopers maintain their unbeaten stranglehold on the Champions Mile by plundering his second win in the international Group One - three years after his first - and will now go to the Yasuda Kinen in Japan, chasing a US$1 million bonus as part of the Asian Mile Challenge.
'He's had quite a number of hairline fractures in different areas, both in one shoulder and two times in his hind quarters. He's been a bit of a nightmare to train, but this season we've managed to get him to the races a very sound horse,' Moore said. 'Darren said he felt so free and well within himself on the way to the barriers that he just knew he was going to run a big race.
'The owner, Dr Cornel Li, tells me his wife wants to go shopping in Japan, so I think we will go over and try and win the Yasuda Kinen while we are there.'
The occasion was not lost on Beadman, who won his first Champions Mile: 'It's a real honour to ride here in Hong Kong, to get on this class of horse, ride in this calibre of race and to win a race with such world recognition is a great thrill.'
Able One defeated Fellowship, ridden by Zac Purton, who was later suspended for two meetings and fined HK$40,000 after pleading guilty to a charge of careless riding after causing interference to Brave Kid. He was due to commence an earlier careless riding suspension on May 2 and will now not resume riding until May 17.