Schutz's budding star has what it takes to rise to the occasion Andreas Schutz can complete the ultimate thoroughbred overhaul and confirm his own arrival as a big-time player in Hong Kong by landing the HK$8 million Champions Mile with Good Ba Ba. The five-year-old will also give jockey Olivier Doleuze the chance to publicly confirm his judgment, having made one of the biggest calls of the season in going with Good Ba Ba instead of Hong Kong Mile hero The Duke as his Champions Mile mount. It's the potential factor that tips the scales in Good Ba Ba's favour, but the budding star will have to maintain his rate of improvement to beat the horse with the fruit on the tree, international raider Linngari. This handsome chestnut, prepared by South African Herman Brown and to be handled by his compatriot Kevin Shea, comes off an outstanding last-start second to Admire Moon in a high-rating Dubai Duty Free. It was a performance of the highest calibre, as it took one of the world's best horses to beat Linngari under clear skies in the desert that night, and their superiority over the rest of the field was illustrated by the huge margin back to third - 41/4 lengths. Linngari's speed rating in Dubai was a new personal best, the equivalent of an international 124. It would win any edition of the Champions Mile, apart from the exciting Bullish Luck-Silent Witness showdown in 2005, where each of those great horses hit the line at the speed rating of 125 and only a short head between them. But Good Ba Ba is now on the threshold of producing a comparable level of performance. Since Schutz took over his training late last year, the International Sale graduate has raced three times for three impressive wins. At his last two starts, the bar has been raised higher and Good Ba Ba has been taking the challenge increments in his stride, seemingly having something to spare each time as well. Look at his winning times for his last three outings: 1,600m in 1:33.9, with a personal last 400m in 22.8. Then 1,400m in 1:20.9 (22.8) and last start, in beating Armada in the Group Two Chairman's Trophy, 1,600m in 1:34.2, with his individual last 400m a breathtaking 22.3 seconds. No, the clock does not lie - this is championship speed and it is the key factor that will see Good Ba Ba take the final step in his climb to the top this afternoon and complete a magnificent training performance from Schutz, the former German champion trainer. Linngari is the horse to beat after two outstanding performances on the world stage this season. He arrived in Hong Kong in December as a virtual new kid on the international circuit, despite the fact that he had already performed in England, France and Dubai. The gelding drew barrier 13 in the Hong Kong Mile, forcing jockey Glyn Schofield to go back and seek cover when he could have been capable of obtaining a more forward position from a lower alley. On the home turn, Linngari was last of the 14 runners and his ill fortune had not yet finished. Schofield was unable to get him to the outside and, in desperation, he had to switch over heels, back to the inside, to make his final run, weaving between horses to finish fifth - right alongside Bullish Luck and a neck in front of Joyful Winner but only 21/4 lengths behind winner The Duke. In Dubai last start, it was a similar story. This time the five-year-old drew 16 out of 16 and Shea took the only available option - dragging him back to avoid being trapped wide. In what was a sensational big-race ride, Shea tracked through the field and found himself on the back of Admire Moon to make the run that eventually took him to second place. The Champions Mile has far more depth than just these two horses. The mighty Bullish Luck seeks to win it for the third straight year, and would therefore become the first Hong Kong horse since River Verdon to win a Group One three years in a row. The Duke was a deserving hero of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile in December and his last-start second to Joyful Winner in the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup showed he's back on track after a setback. Joyful Winner has had setbacks all year but he too is back in the game. He was unlucky behind Good Ba Ba in the Chairman's Trophy and last-start finished too well for The Duke in the Queen's Silver Jubilee (Gr 1, 1,400m) after a scorching Gerald Mosse ride. Mosse will partner Floral Pegasus, the epitome of consistency, and the likely leader in the race. The handsome chestnut is coming off a Derby preparation and has been on the go all season - that's the one slight doubt surrounding him. The Australian three-year-old Casino Prince is solid at home but the class rise here should find him out, while Kapil and Able One should also struggle at this high level of competition. Good Ba Ba or Linngari? With so little between them, make sure you have something on the quinella.