Viva Pataca's second in the Champions & Chater Cup on Sunday was a disappointing finale to a season that promised so much and almost, but never quite, delivered. The primary reason is one of temperament, with what goes on between his ears being a fair way short of ideal. It was the primary reason for his defeat in Dubai in the Sheema Classic, rather than the wide barrier, because he was in total meltdown in the mounting yard before the race. The magnificent opening ceremony for Dubai World Cup night, complete with dazzling fireworks, would have been enough to stir up most thoroughbreds and was a certainty to get Viva Pataca highly fizzed, coming on top of the weight loss his trip away had already precipitated. So when the dual Champions & Chater Cup hero paraded before the Sheema Classic, he was jig-jogging lap after lap and leaving a sweat trail that would have formed a rivulet had he done a couple more laps. Most horses, when they parade this way, run nowhere. Viva Pataca, to his great credit, loomed to win the US$5 million race inside the 200m but his run ended at the 100m and Mike de Kock's Sun Classique drew away again in the final stages. So there was always going to be an issue for Viva Pataca regaining peak form so soon after the Dubai trip. He went reasonably, but short of his best, when third to Archipenko in the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup on April 27, a race he had won in sparkling manner the previous year. And while trainer John Moore (pictured) formed the view that he was unlucky when held up at the 600m on Sunday, the reality is that if Darren Beadman got going earlier, the gelding's finishing burst would have petered out sooner. The hard truth is that Viva Pataca has now been weak in the final stages of his last three starts, a far cry from the dominating stayer who thrashed his rivals in the QEII and Champions & Chater Cup 12 months ago. Now Moore is contemplating the Cox Plate again in October. But we have to ask, with the 20-20 vision that is Dubai hindsight, is he really the ideal horse to travel? Viva Pataca is stunning at his best, but can he ever attain that best away from Sha Tin with the weight loss and agitation that occur?