Good ending to Soumillon switch

CHRISTOPHE Soumillon expressed sympathy for the jocked-off Olivier Doleuze after partnering Good Ba Ba to an impressive success in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin yesterday.

Good Ba Ba, trained by Andreas Schutz, broke the track record as he romped to back-to-back victories in the Group One contest. After admitting he was pleased to take the ride on the six-year-old at the request of owner John Yuen Si Kit, Soumillon revealed his true feelings.

“It is not very easy to take a horse off a friend but I spoke to Andreas before the race and it was the right option,” said Soumillon. “I was happy to accept the ride but I felt sorry for Olivier.

“A big double in a race like this is very hard but they did a great job with the horse and I rode my race and he got the track record.”

The race itself went like clockwork for the triumphant team. Soumillon settled the six-year-old nearer to the pace than usual as Egyptian Ra tried to make all.

However the result was never really in doubt from some way out as Soumillon oozed confidence and Good Ba Ba streaked away.

Doctor Dino also repeated his victory in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase as he denied the Luca Cumani-trained Purple Moon by the narrowest of margins.

Jamie Spencer looked to have stolen the race on Purple Moon as he quickened the tempo off a slow pace early in the straight, but Olivier Peslier got Doctor Dino’s nose in front on the line.

Winning trainer Richard Gibson said: “Before anything I want to commiserate with Luca Cumani and Purple Moon for the great race they ran.

“But the story is about Doctor Dino and he has joined an elite band of horses to win this race twice. He’s a very unique, powerful athlete and I am very proud of him.”

Eagle Mountain took the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup in tremendous style for trainer Mike De Kock.

The former Aidan O’Brien inmate was beaten by Conduit in the Breeders’ Cup Turf but back over 10 furlongs here he always looked the winner.

Kevin Shea was in the perfect position throughout and kicked on early in the straight and comfortably held Balius with Sir Michael Stoute’s Linngari third.

“He was very well ridden by Kevin. We planned to be a lot handier,” said de Kock.

Inspiration caused a 66-1 upset in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint beating Green Birdie and favourite Apache Cat in a tight finish under Darren Beadman. Europe’s champion sprinter Marchand D’Or finished sixth.

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