How Sweet it is - Moore lands stable quinella
Many punters were caught second-guessing why stable rider Darren Beadman was aboard Leading City in the featured Chevalier Cup (1,400m) in preference to Captain Sweet but came out winners if they went with him.
In his favourite role, Leading City dictated the race from the front, then held off the late finish of Captain Sweet (Vincent Ho Chak-yiu) for a John Moore-trained quinella the jockey said had been months in the making.
'John picked this race out as an ideal target for Leading City quite a while ago and I didn't even have a choice in what I rode - he told me I was on Leading City and I was happy enough with that,' Beadman said. 'It has been a good training performance to see this race well ahead and get it right - Leading City is at that point in the ratings where it isn't easy to find the right race for him and he seems just below the really good ones. His programme isn't easy.'
Ironically, for all that planning of the feature, well-known owner Gary Ling Kay-wai wasn't even present as he had elected to go to the Japan Cup meeting in Tokyo instead.
Moore said Leading City was not the easiest ride and needed Beadman's skills, while Captain Sweet's engagement for the race had been a relatively late decision after he won two weeks ago and he was happy to put the apprentice rider on board.
'And he probably would have beaten Leading City if he had drawn a gate,' he said. 'Again he drew 14 and again he had to go all the way back to get in. Leading City was at the other end of the race and able to lead and dictate the pace.'
Beadman said it was a delicate mix to get Leading City to perform at his best but he has been seen at his peak over 1,400m, where he now has four wins from nine runs.
'You can't take hold of him or try and ride a pretty race and sit him behind - he resents it and then he doesn't perform,' he said. 'You have to let him do his thing but that's probably the best I've been able to rate him today, balancing the need to lead on him with the need to not go too fast and leave him a sitting shot for the finishers, especially now that he is carrying some weight at this Class One level.'
For those who want to jot down Leading City's next target race, it is the Chinese Club Challenge Cup (1,400m) on January 1.
'Probably they will both run there again and I expect I'll have a couple more in it as well - it probably would have been a good race for Admiration but he's got a start in the Hong Kong Sprint,' Moore said.