11/16/2009 1:00AM

Collection takes International Cup Trial


Collection signaled an apparent changing of the guard in Hong Kong on Sunday as he powered to a two-length victory in the Group 2, $387,000 International Cup Trial at Sha Tin. The 4-year-old Irish-bred son of Arc winner Peintre Celebre put last year's winner, Viva Pataca, firmly in his place as the seven-time Group 1 winner could only mange seventh, 3 1/2 lengths behind.

Formerly trained in England by William Haggas, for whom he won the listed 1 1/4-mile Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2008, the John Moore-trained Collection burst upon the Hong Kong scene in March with an impressive debut score in the Hong Kong Derby over the same 10-furlong course and distance as the International Cup Trial. Sent off at 4-1 on Sunday, he rallied from ninth under Weichong Marwing to lead approaching the furlong marker, stopping the clock on good ground in 2:03.85. Longshot Unique Jewellery was second, a short head in front of third-place Mr Medici, with Hong Kong Derby runner-up Thumbs Up fourth.

Viva Pataca is likely to try Collection again in the Hong Kong Cup on Dec. 13 when a strong team of foreign invaders, among them Eagle Mountain and Presvis, will challenge the locals.