Moore's Military Attack wipes floor with rivals
Report: Hong Kong, Sunday
Sha Tin: The Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup (Group 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+
MILITARY ATTACK (John Moore/Zac Purton) blew away all comers in the Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday to spark hopes of an invite for Dubai's showpiece fixture at the end of next month.
In one of his infrequent associations with trainer Moore, leading jockey Purton made good use of the inside gate to position the son of Oratorio much closer than normal to the steady pace.
A fastest final sectional of 21.85 seconds from the top of the home straight then rendered any meaningful pursuit futile.
The five-year-old, formerly known as Rave when a progressive handicapper for John Hills during 2011, came home two and half lengths in front of fellow European imports Pure Champion and Xtension, the latter also in the silks of winning owner Steven Lo.
Successful in the last two editions of the Hong Kong Cup, California Memory, the 8-11 race favourite, finished uncharacteristically tamely near the tail of the field and was later diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm.
This was Military Attack's second Group success of the season having also won the Group 3 January Cup over 1m1f at Happy Valley last month and his sights could next be set a good deal higher overseas.
"I'll look at the Dubai Duty Free for Military Attack and Zac can ride him - if we're invited," said Moore of the US$5 million event on March 30 at Meydan.
"Xtension's run today was also full of merit. He was not quite at his best yet and he could go to Dubai too if invited - Douglas [Whyte] would ride him there."
Moore's fifth victory in the last eight editions of the Gold Cup gave him a slightly belated first at the highest level this season, despite frequently fielding multiple runners in featured races.
On this occasion Military Attack was one of six runners from the stable.
"I felt that If California Memory wasn't at his best then my team of horses in the race had the strength in the numbers to take advantage and that's what happened," Moore concluded.
"Sometimes it only takes one result to kick-start a season and I'm hoping this is the one to get the stable winning more of these big races."