03/01/2010 12:00AM

Collection draws clear in Hong Kong Gold Cup


Collection jumped to the top of his class at Sha Tin on Sunday with a comprehensive 1 3/4-length victory in the $1 million Hong Kong Gold Cup, a 1 1/4-mile Group 1 race in Hong Kong.

Having settled in seventh under Darren Beadman, Collection rallied three wide to lead just inside the eighth pole and drew clear for a handy score over Thumbs Up, with Mr Medici a neck further back in third. Seven-time Hong Kong Group 1 winner Good Ba Ba was fourth, a neck behind Mr Medici, with three-time Group 1 winner Viva Pataca sixth. Aaron Gryder set the pace aboard Sight Winner, but his mount weakened inside the last quarter to finish seventh.

Collection had to survive the objection of Thumbs Up's rider Christophe Soumillon, who claimed that his horse had been interfered with by the winner in midstretch. Sent off as the 1.15-1 favorite, the victorious John Moore-trained son of Arc winner Peintre Celebre covered the 1 1/4 miles on good ground in 2:01.60.

Moore will now choose between a race on Dubai World Cup Night for Collection or keep him at home for the 1 1/4-mile Queen Elizabeth II Cup on April 25.

Although unsuccessful in the day's feature race, Gryder did win on one of his six Sunday mounts, with Sabina in a 1 1/8-mile handicap. He has now won five races from 61 mounts this winter while riding at both Sha Tin and Happy Valley.