02/26/2010 12:00AM

Good Ba Ba, Viva Pataca vulnerable in Hong Kong


Good Ba Ba and Viva Pataca, the winners of 10 Group 1 races between them, clash in the $1 million Hong Kong Gold Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday, but both are vulnerable to rising star Collection in the 1 1/4-mile Hong Kong Group 1 contest.

The winner of seven Group 1 s, Good Ba Ba thrilled the crowd at Sha Tin on Dec. 13 when he landed his third consecutive Hong Kong Mile, but this will be the first try beyond a mile for him. An 8-year-old trained by Derek Cruz, he has drawn unfortunately wide in post 11. Also 8, the John Moore-trained Viva Pataca is not improving with age. He was only sixth in the 1 1/2-mile Hong Kong Vase and was just fourth in the 1 1/8-mile, Group 3 Centenary Vase Handicap on Feb. 7, albeit while spotting the field nine to 22 pounds.

Collection, on the other hand, is the best 10-furlong horse in training in Hong Kong. A 5-year-old Irish-bred son of Peintre Celebre, he won last spring s Hong Kong Derby as well as the Group 2 International Cup Trial in November. His three-quarter-length second-place finish to Vision d Etat in the Hong Kong Cup was one of the better 1 1/4-mile performances in the world last year. Trainer Moore will give a leg up to Darren Beadman.

Sight Winner, whose victory in the Group 1 Champions Mile on April 26 earned him a berth in the Breeders Cup Mile that was ultimately declined, will be ridden for the first time by Aaron Gryder, but the John Size trainee is winless in seven starts since then. Normally based in Southern California, Gryder is riding this winter in Hong Kong, where he has won 4 races from 55 mounts for earnings of $214,574.