01/26/2009 12:00AM

Good Ba Ba scores easily in Stewards Cup


Good Ba Ba cruised to a handy score in the $1 million Stewards Cup Mile at Sha Tin on Sunday, confirming his position as the best horse in Hong Kong with a 1 3/4-length victory over Fellowship with Viva Pataca a length farther back in third and Egyptian Ra fourth.

Rated in 11th place just ahead of Viva Pataca by Christophe Soumillon, Good Ba Ba sped to the lead at the three-sixteenths pole and won more easily than the winning margin suggests. The time for the 1-2 favorite for the turf mile on good ground was 1:33.29, just a half-second off the track record Good Ba Ba had set on Dec. 14 when winning the Hong Kong Mile.

"It was very easy," Soumillon said. "I just sat on him quietly and he changed legs on the turn and cruised to the lead. It was automatic. He's one of the best I've ever ridden."

In the past, Soumillon has partnered with the likes of Zarkava, Dalakhani, Hurricane Run, Dylan Thomas, Rail Link, Shirocco, and Darjina.

Trainer Andreas Schutz disappointed many international observors when he announced that Good Ba Ba, a 7-year-old Lear Fan gelding, would skip the Dubai Duty Free on March 28 and remain in Hong Kong in an effort to score repeat wins in the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup on March 15 and the Champions Mile on April 26. Only twice has Good Ba Ba ventured outside of Sha Tin in his 30-race career. That was when he finished fourth and seventh at Tokyo in the Yasuda Kinen, a race that will be run this year on June 7.