The new season group races cannot come soon enough for trainer John Moore and jockey Darren Beadman, who believe world-rated stayer Viva Pataca is "better than ever" as he builds up for a revenge tilt at the HK$20 million Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup.
Vengeance of Rain may be retired but there will be no respite for his intended Dubai Sheema Classic opposition, with Viva Pataca's dominating victory in the HK$8 million Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2,000m) Feb. 23 proving he's ripe and ready for the world stage.
It appears as though Viva Pataca will not become the first Hong Kong-based runner to compete in the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The equine influenza outbreak in Australia has had an unexpected positive implication for the Breeders' Cup World Championships, as Hong Kong-based Viva Pataca is now scheduled to compete at Monmouth Park and become Hong Kong's first runner on racing's biggest day in the United States.
Viva Pataca showed his best to win the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (HK-I) at Sha Tin Sunday. His achievement can be measured by the fact that in second and third were the horses that won the world's richest turf races in Dubai last month: the mighty Hong Kong star Vengeance Of Rain and Japanese champion Admire Moon.
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