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Viva Pataca Wins HK Gr1 QEII Cup
In Hong Kong, former Collingrove shuttler Marju (Last Tycoon-Flame Of Tara, by Artaius) added a Gr1 triumph when evergreen 8YO gelding & 2009 HK Horse-Of-The-Year Viva Pataca (Marju-Comic, by Be My Chief) notched his 8th Gr1 victory & became the highest money-earner in the history of HK racing when he gained the judge’s decision in a 3-way photo-finish to the HK$14 million (A$2m) Gr1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin (a race which he also won in 2007, finished 3rd in 2008 & then finished runner-up in 2009). Viva Pataca (ridden by Weichong Marwing for expatriate Australian trainer John Moore) scored by a neck from 5YO gelding Lizard’s Desire (Lizard Island-Annsfield, by Northfields) with a further neck to NZ-foaled but Australian-conceived 4YO gelding Super Satin (Danehill Dancer-Mantles Princess, by Rock City). Viva Pataca took his record to 18 wins (13 in HK, also including 2009’s Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup over 2400m & Gr1 HK Citi Gold Cup over 2000m, plus 2008's Gr1 HK Gold Cup over 2000m & Gr2 HK International Cup Trial over 2000m, as well as 2007's Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup over 2400m, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup over 2000m & Gr2 HK International Cup Trial over 2000m, in addition to 2006's Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup over 2400m & Gr1 HK Derby over 2000m) & 13 HK placings (including last start’s Gr2 Chairman's Trophy over 1600m on April 4, plus 2009’s Gr1 Stewards' Cup over 1600m, Gr1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup over 2000m & Gr2 Chairman's Trophy over 1600m, as well as 2008's Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup over 2400m, Gr1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup over 2000m, Gr1 Dubai Sheema Classic over 2400m at Nad Al Sheba & Gr1 Stewards' Cup over 1600m, in addition to 2007's Gr1 HK Gold Cup over 2000m & Gr1 Stewards Cup over 1600m, plus 2006’s Gr2 International Cup Trial over 2000m) from 43 starts (36 in HK) for HK81,059,790 (A$11.58m) total earnings, including specific HK earnings of HK$80,232,500 million (A$11.5m), eclipsing the previous HK record of HK$75,410,500 (A$10.8m) set by Vengeance Of Rain.