Champions and Chater Cup

John Moore has Designs on yet another Group One triumph

Trainer John Moore says the Champions and Chater is his for the taking

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 May, 2014, 10:51pm
UPDATED : Friday, 23 May, 2014, 10:14am

Having dominated major races this season to an extent that even dwarfs his past achievements, trainer John Moore will not hear of losing in the final Group One of the season, the HK$8 million Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup on Sunday.

"I expect that, barring some kind of bad luck, Designs On Rome will win the race and I'll be very upset if he isn't Horse Of The Year, too," Moore said.

"He's done everything since he got to distances beyond the mile and the whole world is coming calling for us to travel him.

As a young horse, he only cost ... £10,000 [HK$130,800] - he must have been a real ugly duckling, but he's a great story now
John Moore 

"We've been approached by Royal Ascot to go there, by Australia to go to Melbourne for their spring carnival and, of course, his owner is very keen on Dubai next year.

"He's a class above them on Sunday, a world-class Group One horse that I'm lucky to have found and Hong Kong is lucky to have.

"To think, as a young horse he only cost Pat Flynn [his previous owner-trainer] £10,000 [HK$130,800] - he must have been a real ugly duckling, but he's a great story now."

Crucially, Moore said the four-year-old was showing no signs he was at the end of his preparation after some hard racing and he worked impressively for Tommy Berry yesterday.

"Tommy came back very complimentary about his work. He's done really well. The horse hasn't lost anything in fitness since the QE II. He looks great in the coat and he is very sound," Moore said.

"The 2,400m isn't a problem. He settles so well in his races, and he even has to be shaken up to get going at times. He'd run you two miles, never mind a mile and a half."

The Champions & Chater has seen some high-profile horses beaten in the past at very short odds by tempo considerations - most recently Ambitious Dragon and even Moore's former star, Viva Pataca.

But the trainer does not believe it will be an issue on Sunday, as he seeks his seventh win in the race.

"Firstly, I don't expect the pace to be very slow, but anyway this horse can make a run from the 600m and just keep coming," he said, adding that a stable quinella looked very likely.

"Dominant won the [Hong Kong] Vase here and his run in the Sheema Classic in Dubai was full of merit.

"If anything did happen to Designs On Rome, I'd think Dominant would win it and a stable Q looks on the cards."

Including his prize money from wins overseas with Sterling City and Dan Excel, Moore's stake money this season is already in excess of HK$140 million, with every likelihood it will be closer to HK$150 million by Monday.

Meanwhile, Matthew Chadwick will be checked over by a neurological specialist before stewards decide whether he can pilot 2013 Champions & Chater winner California Memory at the weekend.

Chadwick spent Wednesday night in hospital after his dramatic fall from Lord Dragon at the 300m mark in a Class Four handicap at Happy Valley after he tried to squeeze through a narrow gap, but he was cleared by the hospital doctors yesterday afternoon and released.

However, the Jockey Club stewards required the neurologist's all clear as well, so Chadwick went back into a private hospital overnight and will be examined this morning. Stewards expect to clear him to ride, or otherwise, by lunchtime today.



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