(Edited press release)
Good Ba Ba produced a devastating surge to win the Dec. 14 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) at Sha Tin for the second straight year, leaving his jockey Christophe Soumillon to declare that he was the best miler in the world, something even harder to dispute when it was confirmed the phenomenal winning time of 1:32.71 was a track record. He races for owner John Yuen Se Kit. The race was worth HK$16 million ($2 million in U.S. funds).
Last year, the winning verdict in the Hong Kong Mile was just a short head, but the Andreas Schutz-trained 6-year-old was so strong in the closing stages that he was able to leave his nearest victim Able One trailing 2 1/2 lengths back in second. Egyptian Ra providing a superb clean sweep for the Hong Kong runners in third.
Egyptian Ra had worked his way to the front from his wide draw and, though pestered by Natagora, he was still ahead until Good Ba Ba's stunning late charge took him to the front 150 meters from the wire.
Major disappointments were Armada, backed into favoritism but only sixth, and the 2007 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Kip Deville. who finished ninth of the 14 runners.
After achieving this first-ever back-to-back winning strike in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile, Schutz said: "I always thought he was a champion from the first day I got him and today he really showed his class. His run was much better than some people said last time, his sectional time for the last 800 meters was very good."
Schutz added, with a wry smile, referring to Good Ba Ba's disappointments in Yasuda Kinen (Jpn-I) in June: "As for the future we'll go for the big races here and think about Dubai but not Japan!"
Soumillon, who replaced Olivier Doleuze aboard the great miler said: "I'm very happy to have won the race, but I'm feeling sorry for Olivier, but these things happen in racing. I have ridden some horses with a good turn of foot, and maybe he's not Zarkava, but winning this race today for the second time makes him the best miler in the world."
Bred by Haras Santa Maria de Araras, Good Ba Ba is by Lear Fan out of Elle Meme, by Zilzal.