04/30/2007 12:00AM

Kinane, Moore combine for Group 1 double


Michael Kinane and John Moore combined forces for a famous Group 1 double at Sha Tin on Sunday as Viva Pataca upset Vengeance Of Rain and Admire Moon in the $1.79 million Queen Elizabeth II Cup, while Able One led throughout in taking the $1 million Champions Mile.

Viva Pataca sprinted to a 3-length lead at the eighth-pole under Kinane but had enough left to hold off Dubai Sheema Classic winner Vengeance Of Rain by 1 3/4 lengths in the QE II Cup. Dubai Duty Free winner Admire Moon, racing wide throughout as a result of his number ten draw in the 10-runner field, just missed getting up for second by a neck. Sent off at odds of 6.50-1, Viva Pataca covered the 1 1/4 miles on good to firm turf in 2:01.90.

While not the most consistent of horses, Viva Pataca had showed potential last year when winning the 1 1/4-mile Hong Kong Derby against his fellow 4-year-olds and the 1 1/2-mile Hong Kong Champion & Chaters Cup against older horses. Coincidentally, those same two races had been won in 2005 by Vengeance Of Rain, who will challenge Viva Pataca again in the Champion & Chaters Cup on June 3.

"It was probably a blessing that he didn't race in Dubai as he was fresher today with the edge still on him," said Moore, a Hong Kong-based Australian. "After the Champions & Chater I'd love to take him to Australia for a race like the Cox Plate."

A gelded British-bred son of Marju, Viva Pataca was completing a big double for Moore and Kinane. Earlier, the 47-year-old Irish jockey was at his brilliant, international big race best when leading throughout aboard Able One to take the Champions Mile by 1 1/4 lengths from his Moore-trained stablemate Joyful Winner. Last December's Hong Kong Mile winner The Duke was a short head further back in third as the ever consistent Linngari, a fast closing second last time to Admire Moon in the Dubai Duty Free, had a rare off day in finishing sixth, 2-3/4 lengths behind Able One, who covered the mile in 1:34.50 at 32-1.

*Meisho Samson outdueled Erimo Expire and Tokai Trick to win the $2.1 million Grade 1 Spring Tenno Sho at Kyoto on Sunday. The winner of last year's Japanese Derby, Meisho Samson had returned from a 3-month absence to win the 1 1/4-mile Grade 2 Sankei Osaka Hai on April 1. Only fourth when going for the Triple Corwn in the 2-mile Japanese St. Leger, he ound the 2 miles of the Tenno Sho, or Emperor's Cup, to be within his range this time as he outgamed longshot Erimo Expire by a nose with Toaki Trick a neck back in third. Melbourne Cup winner Delta Blues finished 7 lengths behind in twelfth while Eye Popper, who had beaten Delta Blues into fourth in the 1 7/8-mile Hanshin Daishoten on March 18, was fourth, beaten just three quarters of a length as the 2.80-1 favorite.

Sent off as the 7-2 second choice, the Shigetada Takahashi-trained Meisho Samson covered the two miles under Mamoru Ishibashi in 3:14.10, just .7 of a second off the track mark set in last year's Tenno Sho by Deep Impact. A 4-year-old son of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes winner Opera House, Meisho Samson has now won Grade 1 races at 1 1/4 miles in the Japanese 2000 Guineas, 1 1/2 miles in the Japanese Derby, and 2 miles in this Spring Tenno Sho.