Moore closes in on own mark
Leading big-event trainer John Moore loomed in sight of his own personal championship goals as he grabbed the final Group One of the season with Mighty High in the Champions & Chater Cup, then added the Sha Tin Vase for good measure.
Moore lost no ground in the actual championship race with Tony Cruz, both landing pairs to leave Cruz still six wins in front, but the advantage lies clearly with the front-runner as the meetings melt away.
Moore will certainly claim the prize as the leading stakes earner again, with Darren Beadman getting home on Mighty High and Dim Sum and pushing Moore's tally to HK$93 million and change, and with a solid chance for the yard to match the HK$96.8 million racked up last season.
Mighty High proved to be the weight certainty that he looked on paper as he comfortably beat all the horses who finished with him in the Queen Mother Memorial Cup when he had to concede them big parcels of weight, but last year's Champions & Chater winner, Mr Medici (Gerald Mosse) bounced back to form to make a close-run thing of the finish.
'I hadn't really gone for the full effort from my horse, he still had another gear if something did come at him so when Mr Medici arrived, Mighty High fought really well,' said Beadman. 'He certainly stays well this horse. He was on the steel most of the way again but he found the line.'
Moore said Beadman had suggested a Melbourne Cup tilt might not be out of the realms of possibility with Mighty High, but it was a decision for another day as connections basked in Moore's fifth win in the race and the fourth in the last six years. The last three wins were courtesy of Hong Kong's greatest stake winner, Viva Pataca, who earned another HK$960,000 finishing third and he has never been unplaced in six appearances in the race.
'He had his chance and he was brave, but all the jocks tell me he's missing a cylinder these days and I intend to recommend that he be retired with some dignity,' Moore said. 'It would be nice to see him going out on a nice note like that, running a gallant third, rather than see him being hammered until he drops.'
In the Group Three Sha Tin Vase (1,200m) Moore and Beadman repeated their win of 2010 with Dim Sum and the stable filled most of the prominent placings, with Sunny King (Mosse) flashing home for second.
'Well that proves all those people wrong who say horses that go away get jaded and can't come back and win,' said Moore, who had last saddled up both the quinella runners in the Golden Shaheen in Dubai. 'Every horse I've taken away so far has come back and done very well. These two have come back and performed first-up and I think it boils down to the care they get when they return.'
Dim Sum is a dual Group One winner, but has flown under the radar to some extent his whole career, but Beadman said the seven-year-old's durability came down to his nature.
'He only does as much as you make him do in the mornings and he switches off when he gets to the front in races so he looks after himself,' he said. 'But he's very competitive - after the post today when Sunny King got to him, he picked up again and wanted to go.'
With nine Group races in the bag for the season, Moore still has one to go - the Group Three Premier Cup (1,400m) on June 19 - and Able One advertised himself for that by flashing up behind the placegetters in the Vase.