07/02/2007 12:00AM

Top honor for Vengeance of Rain

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Vengeance of Rain was crowned Hong Kong's Horse of the Year for the 2006-07 season by the Hong Kong Jockey Club on Monday despite have suffered defeat twice at the hands of Viva Pataca, who was named champion middle-distance horse.

Trained by David Ferraris, Vengeance of Rain did beat Viva Pataca in the Hong Kong Gold Cup, after which he traveled to Nad Al Sheba to take the Dubai Sheema Classic. Returning to Sha Tin, he proceeded to finish second to Viva Pataca in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup and the Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup. Vengeance of Rain was also named champion stayer and, in a separate fan poll, was named Hong Kong's most popular horse by a margin of 52,962 to 32,775 over Viva Pataca, who is trained by John Moore.

Hong Kong Sprint winner Absolute Champion was named champion sprinter, while Stewards Cup winner Armada was declared champion miler. The judges panel also presented the retired champion sprinter Silent Witness with a lifetime achievement award. Doug Whyte won the rider title with 91 victories, while Caspar Fownes took the trainer title with 61 wins.