Viva Pataca was named Hong Kong's champion middle-distance and champion stayer for 2008.

Viva Pataca was named Hong Kong's champion middle-distance and champion stayer for 2008.

Kenneth Chan

Good Ba Ba Horse of Year in Hong Kong

Good Ba Ba was named Hong Kong's horse of the year for the 2007-08 racing season.

from the Hong Kong Jockey Club

Good Ba Ba, a four-time group I winner this season, was crowned horse of the year as well as the champion miler and most popular horse of the year at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Champion Awards presentation ceremony July 1.

Douglas Whyte was honored as the champion jockey and most popular jockey.

Viva Pataca lifted a double to be named champion middle-distance and champion stayer. Sacred Kingdom and Ichiban were chosen as champion sprinter and champion griffin, respectively, while the most improved horse award went to Sight Winner.

Even with one more meet set for July 3, trainer John Size, jockey Whyte, and apprentice rider Marco K L Chui hold big leads in the standings.

Size will capture his fifth champion trainer title in seven seasons in Hong Kong. Whyte, meanwhile, will be leading jockey for the eighth consecutive year, breaking the previous best of seven championships won by Basil Marcus and Gary Moore. Chui will be champion apprentice jockey.

Racing fans cast a record total of 312,815 votes to decide the most popular horse and most popular jockey of the year.

The Champion Awards judging panel also voted to present the lifetime achievement award to Vengeance of Rain, Horse of the Year for the 2006-07 season, in recognition of his great contribution to Hong Kong racing.

Danesis took the 2006 Hong Kong International Sale Bonus of HK$1 million by virtue of his victory in the Privilege Handicap on the final day of racing at Sha Tin.

Arranged to recognize excellence in Hong Kong racing, the champion awards are organized by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, with the Association of Hong Kong Racing Journalists as co-organizer and the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association as honorary adviser.