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HK Star Viva Pataca Confirmed For Cox Plate
Hong Kong-based expatriate Australian trainer John Moore confirmed yesterday "he is dispatching 2 stars from his stable to Melbourne with the 2007 Gr1 Cox Plate (2040m) the target of the campaign," reported thoroughbrednews.co.nz. Moore is sending both multiple Gr1-winning 5YO gelding Viva Pataca (Marju-Comic, by Be My Chief) who shattered the 2400m course record in winning last Sunday's Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup at Sha Tin, along with 4YO stable-mate Viva Macau (Sendawar-Diyawara, by Doyoun) who finished 3rd in the race. Moore said his plan is to "send them down in the 2nd or 3rd week of August. At the moment we are trying to get Australian staff together, as I will not send my stable staff. We will have 2 weeks at Sandown & then shift to Caulfield. Viva Pataca has taken time to hit his straps, as he had a virus which took its toll. I have been very patient with him & it has paid off." Moore added he will look at the Underwood Stakes & Yalumba Stakes as led-up races for Viva Pataca to the Cox Plate; & he noted Viva Macau was "looking for softer tracks than those raced on in HK". Both Viva Pataca & Viva Macau are owned by Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho Hung Sun. With Sunday's victory, Viva Pataca won the Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup for the 2nd successive year to add to his win in 2006's Gr1 HK Derby (2000m) as well as finishing 3rd in the Gr2 International Cup Trial (2000m); already in 2007 he had finished 3rd in January's Gr1 Stewards Cup (1600m) & runner-up in March's Gr1 HK Gold Cup (2000m) before winning April's Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2000m).