Kinane answers Moore's SOS

Murray Bell

'I believe he's still one of the best jockeys on the planet'

Champion Irish jockey Michael Kinane has answered an SOS from trainer John Moore and will ride Viva Pataca in Sunday's Champions & Chater Cup at Sha Tin.

Kinane, one of Europe's premier big-race riders, became available when trainer John Oxx was unhappy about the jockey's intended mount in Sunday's Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Kinane (pictured) called Moore yesterday while the trainer was waiting to board a flight to Tokyo to oversee the arrival of Joyful Winner, his Yasuda Kinen hopeful.

'I've just got off the phone and Mick has confirmed he will be here to ride Viva Pataca,' an elated Moore said. 'It's been a trying couple of days, trying to get the best-available jockeys under these unusual circumstances, but it's just wonderful to be able to come up with someone of Mick's ability and big-race record. I believe he's still one of the best jockeys on the planet.'

The last couple of weeks have been a nightmare jockey-go-round for the trainer, who originally thought Christophe Soumillon would take the mount in the Champions & Chater, the final Group One race of the season.

When Soumillon was forced to relinquish the ride due to unforeseen commitments to his retaining owner the Aga Khan, Moore booked Frenchman Gerald Mosse to take the reins on the Hong Kong Derby hero.

Then at Sha Tin on Sunday, Mosse hurt his right shoulder in a nasty fall from Top Honor in the ninth event on the all-weather track.

Moore also confirmed that Wong Yuk-kwan, owner of Super Kid, had given his blessing for the release of Brett Prebble, who had been engaged to ride the Gold Cup winner since last week.

Glyn Schofield, who won on Super Kid during the early part of his career with the John Size stable, will now get an unexpected shot at winning a second Group One for the term, following his Hong Kong Sprint triumph with Natural Blitz.

Prebble will switch to Best Gift, runner-up in last year's Champions & Chater (behind Vengeance Of Rain) and a last-start second to star South African filly Irridescence in the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup on April 23.

'Brett rode both Super Kid and Best Gift for me in gallops this morning,' Moore said. 'Best Gift can be a bit of a trick in trackwork and you just have to work him on his own, so they did their work separately. They've all gone very nicely. Hopefully, with all this drama behind us, we can now get down to business.'

Moore has given Kinane two additional rides in minor races on Sunday, on the highly promising Able One and the enigmatic Gung Ho. It is understood Almond Lee Yee-tat, Mosse's retaining trainer, will also ask Kinane to step into the Frenchman's shoes on a number of his stable runners.

Kinane will arrive tomorrow and is expected to be at Sha Tin for trackwork on Saturday morning.

Moore missed last night's meeting at Happy Valley in order to be in Tokyo this morning for a full post-flight inspection of Joyful Winner, who will contest the Yasuda Kinen on Sunday week.

Joyful Winner, along with Champions Mile hero Bullish Luck and Caspar Fownes-trained The Duke, jetted out of Chek Lap Kok yesterday, collectively forming Hong Kong's strongest-ever assault on an overseas Group One race.